Report: WWF hires paramilitary torturers and murderers in developing world

A Buzzfeed investigation exposes the World Wildlife Fund's funding of torture, murder and paramilitary violence, which it claims is necessary to stop poaching.

Shikharam was in too much pain to swallow. He crawled toward Hira, his thin body covered in bruises, and told her through sobs that forest rangers were torturing him. “They beat him mercilessly and put saltwater in his nose and mouth,” Hira later told police.

The rangers believed that Shikharam helped his son bury a rhinoceros horn in his backyard. They couldn’t find the horn, but they threw Shikharam in their jail anyway, court documents filed by the prosecution show.

Nine days later, he was dead. ... WWF’s staff on the ground in Nepal leaped into action — not to demand justice, but to lobby for the charges to disappear. When the Nepalese government dropped the case months later, the charity declared it a victory in the fight against poaching. Then WWF Nepal continued to work closely with the rangers and fund the park as if nothing had happened.

As for the rangers who were charged in connection with Shikharam’s death, WWF Nepal later hired one of them to work for the charity.

The WWF released a press release boasting that Shikhamam Chaudhari's killing sent a message to poachers.

“WWF welcomes the government’s decision,” said Anil Manandhar, Country Representative of WWF Nepal. “I have every confidence that this move will renew the motivation of park staff and other conservationists to save Nepal’s rhinos and root out illegal wildlife trade.

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