Peru on track to wipe out illegal mining in Madre de Dios region

Peru’s government is on its way to fulfilling the goal of completely eradicating illegal mining operations in the ecologically-rich southeastern jungle region of Madre de Dios by year end, a government official said on recently.

“We hope to achieve this goal. It is not an easy job, but we are optimistic that we will meet that goal following the guidelines,” the High Commissioner for the Formalization and Interdiction of Mining and Environmental Remediation Agusto Soto told Andina News Agency.

During an interdiction operation conducted in the buffer zone of the Tambopata National Reserve in Madre de Dios, home to an incredible biodiversity of plants and animals, Soto noted that operations to eliminate illegal mining in the region will be carried out firmly.

Likewise, Soto underlined that in July Ollanta Humala administration fulfilled its commitment to eradicate 70% of illegal mining in Madre de Dios, which accounts for 11% of Peru’s gold output.

“I will continue the working plan of my predecessor and current Interior Minister Daniel Urresti with the aim to root out illicit activity in the region,” he pointed out.

He also stressed that nearly thirty interdiction operations against illegal mining have been carried out so far this year, and hundreds of machinery used by illegal miners have been seized or destroyed as part of an ongoing crackdown on the sector that has devastated and contaminated the Peruvian Amazon.

On April 28, the police and troops trashed US$20 million worth of heavy machinery used in illegal mining operations in the district of Huepetuhe.

It was the first government’s action of that kind since a nationwide ban on illegal mining took effect April 19.

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