Peru Illegal Mining

Decent Essays
Illegal mining in the Peruvian Amazon has led to crime, deforestation and mercury poisoning in local villages and has further weakened the economy. Peru is the largest producer of gold in South America, the sixth largest in the world and in recent years Peru’s remote Amazon rainforest has become a hotspot for illegal mining. An estimated ten to thirty-thousand illegal miners work day in and day out to remove flecks of gold from Amazonian soil using cyanide, mercury, lead and arsenic which has in turn contaminated water sources and poisoned many in rural villages. Mining camps run rampant with crime, including sex trafficking and slave labor, poaching is common and litter is scattered everywhere. These miners have come from cities across Peru…show more content…
It should be enough to spur the government into action, to enforce more laws and regulations and send more military forces out to take out the operations, but it’s not. Peru’s economy has gone through many changes but it is largely based on the original Incan economical system which ran based on geographical location and what the areas had to offer. Commercial mining is the second largest contributor the economy today, it accounts for roughly sixty percent of the country’s exports and with more than eighty companies and two hundred commercial mines it’s not surprising. However, the illegal mining bandwagon has taken a big hit to the profits coming from mining. An estimated one billion dollars worth of gold is smuggled out of the country each year. Police are having some luck catching and arresting those who smuggle either at airports or border crossings it won’t be enough to stop them completely. Losing all this money each year and not having enough soldiers to stop and illegal gold rush on top of a large rate of poverty, unemployed and homeless and many other things sounds like a frustrating situation. Compared to other countries and their economies Peru doesn’t seem very well off unfortunately. While it’s hard to say whether illegal or commercial mining is doing more damage, it’s fair to say they are both taking their toll on the
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