Illegal Gold Mining Bringing Severe Mercury Poisoning to Peru

Land loss, gas exploration and deforestation well on their way to wiping out the Nahua

illegal gold mining peruThe mine is abandoned, but the toxic waste remains

When civilization first came to this part of the Peruvian rainforest in the 80′s, about half of the indigenous Nahua tribe was immediately wiped out by diseases from which they had no immunity. Does that sound familiar.

Decades later, the process continues, as ongoing illegal mining operations and gas exploration projects have been unleashing mercury and other waste into the waterways, while clear cutting the forests. While global mining corporations are not widely admired for their environmental commitment, this is far worse. The accumulated deforestation, disfiguration and dumping into the region’s waterways is now taking its toll, slowly wiping out the people who have lived there for thousands of years. The pirate mines are widespread in national parks and forests in Madre de Dios, Loreto, Huanuco, Amazonas, Puno.

In the same region, the Camisea gas development project has also torn up the landscape, but legally. Camisea is a government backed consortium of gas companies led by Pluspetrol (Argentina), Repsol (Spain) and Hunt Oil (USA) so when the Nahua complain, they have got pretty much the same chances of being heard as a snowball in hell. And when the modern world is finished with them, they will be gone.

illegal gold mining pery
The free market is able to expedite ethnic cleansing both legally and illegally.

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