Peru: government cracks down on illegal Amazon gold miners

Peru’s security forces cracked down on illegal gold mining operations in the Amazon region of Madre de Dios in late February, with army troops putting several dredges on the region’s rivers to the torch. According to the Environment Ministry, some 20,000 hectares of rainforest are destroyed and 45 tons of mercury dumped into local rivers each year due to the dredging operations. (Reuters, Feb. 20)

The local indigenous alliance FENAMAD issued a statement supporting the government’s drive to bring miner’s under formal title and environmental regulation, but rejecting the use of military force against the miners as “incompatible with democracy,” calling it a “false solution to a problem that has social and economic roots.” (La Republica, Lima, Feb. 26)

See our last posts on Peru and the struggle for the Amazon.

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