Half a million dollars worth of equipment destroyed in illegal mining hotspot in Peru

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A recent USAID report revealed that more than 46,000 artisanal miners illegally mine minerals in Madre de Dios, located in Peru’s southeastern Amazon basin, bordering Brazil and Bolivia. Of these, more than 9,000 carry out their activities in protected areas.

Overall, it is estimated that in 2017, illegal gold mining in the region was responsible for the deforestation of more than 100,000 hectares of the Peruvian Amazon.

In the recent operation, police officers found and destroyed rafts, hoppers and engines commonly used to mine gold using environmentally harmful techniques.

Following the operation, hundreds of people suspected of being involved in illegal mining staged protests on the interoceanic highway and attacked the police base located in the community of Nuevo Arequipa. As a result of these incidents, one person died and eight protesters were arrested.

A few days after these events, the National Police Command sent 45 soldiers from the Lima Special Operations Directorate. Another 20 law enforcement officers from Arequipa arrived at each police station located at kilometers 98 and 117 of the Interoceanic Highway.

In this regard, the director of the Directorate of the Environment, Colonel Luis Guillén Polo, said that despite the resistance of illegal miners, the authorities will continue to work and carry out joint operations against the unregulated exploitation of resources. nature of Madre de Dios.

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