After the Gold Rush: Peru’s Crackdown on Illegal Mining

Men mine for gold using rudimentary equipment in the Madre de Dios region of Peru, May 22, 2014 (AP photo by Rodrigo Abd).
Men mine for gold using rudimentary equipment in the Madre de Dios region of Peru, May 22, 2014 (AP photo by Rodrigo Abd).
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Luis Otsuka, the president of a federation of small-scale gold miners in Peru’s Madre de Dios region called FEDAMIN, is one of tens of thousands of miners who are struggling to continue their lucrative activity in the face of a government initiative to reign in illegal mining. “In 1987, the government gave me a loan to purchase mining equipment. Now the government wants to destroy that same machinery,” he says. Otsuka and his fellow miners have spent much of the past year protesting a government crackdown on illegal mining and new legislation regulating legal mining. Over the past decade, a […]

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