Estimates suggest that between 30 percent and 70 percent of all wood harvested in Mexico is illegal, amounting to between 5 and 14 million m3 of illegal supply annually. Illegal logging is tied with organized crime, drugs, and human trafficking as well as human rights violations. Violence is forcing displacement of farmers and indigenous peoples from their lands and increasing the risk of exploitation within the wood harvesting and processing industry. Enforcement has been weakened in recent years as a result of austerity measures, and corruption at all levels perpetuates the high rates of illegal logging and low seizure rates. Imports account for a significant proportion of the timber processed in Mexico.
While Mexico sources sawnwood from some low-risk countries such as the U.S. and Canada, a sizeable amount of hardwood is imported from high-risk source countries. To date, despite efforts to develop a timber import regulation, Mexico still lacks effective and enforceable import controls. There are reports of Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) protected species being illegally exported to China.