Peru sends police, military to curb illegal mining


Scars of mining in Madre de Dios (Photo by Barbara Fraser)

The Peruvian government has placed a swath of the southeastern Madre de Dios region under the control of the military and police in an effort to end to unregulated gold mining an area known as La Pampa. A 60-day state of emergency in the rainforest-rich region was declared on Feb. 18; the next day, nearly 1,300 police and 300 soldiers occupied the area and established three bases. President Martín Vizcarra pledged to reestablish government control in the region, which has been plagued by various illegal activities, including drug smuggling and trafficking of women and girls for the sex trade. The challenge now is to create alternative livelihoods for thousands of miners who have been working in the area, says Martín Arana, an advisor to Peru’s National Forest Service. The government is taking a three-pronged approach, Arana says. The first, an initial police sweep, was aimed at evicting... [Log in to read more]

Would you like to Subscribe?