Wildlife Products: Practices of Everyday Life of Laotian Petty Traders in a Thai - Lao Border Marketplace

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Sudarat Sriubon Jaggapan Cadchumsang

Abstract

          This article investigates patterns of negotiation of Laotian petty traders in their trans - border trade of wild fauna at a Nong Mon village border trade checkpoint. The data employed in this article were drawn from qualitative research, of which data collection techniques comprise literature review, in - depth interviews, and participant and non - participant observations. Selected key informants included community seniors, Thai government officials, trans - border Laotian petty traders, and other people participating in trans - border trading activities.


          Research results found that the Laotian petty traders have employed different tactics in their illegal trans - border economic activities. For example, a practice of deceptive conduct to avoid inspections of unlawful products by Thai officials. That is to say, some Laotian petty traders open a stall selling general products at the border market, but they sell wild fauna secretly when they have an order from customers. Such a practice is one of the tactics exercised by the Laotian petty traders in order to deal with the restrictiveness of border control regulations, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in particular. Under the regulations determined and implemented by CITES, the Laotian petty traders cannot sell wild fauna openly and freely as they did in the past. Therefore, they have no choice but to use a practice of everyday life through space, time, and opportunity in negotiating with Thai officials so that they can continue to trade wild fauna.

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Interviewees
Atiwat (alias). Thai government officers. 21 October 2018.

Kam (alias). Nong Mon Village’s Community Senior. 14 July 2018.

Kampa (alias). Nong Mon Village’s Community Senior. 24 April 2018.

Moon (alias). Nong Mon Village’s Community Senior. 24 April 2018.

Prasong (alias). Thai consumers. 17 October 2018.

Saijai (alias). Laotian Petty Traders. 21 October 2018.

Samak (alias). Thai government officers. 14 July 2018.

Sompong (alias). Thai government officers. 14 July 2018.

Sorn (alias). Laotian Petty Traders. 21 October 2018.

Suay (alias). Laotian Petty Traders. 14 October 2018.

Tong (alias). Load Carrying Workers. 14 July 2018.