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Peru to combat illegal mining

Staff Writer |
The Peruvian government will take actions to combat illegal mining in the country, Minister of Energy and Mines Francisco Ismodes said.

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According to the government, the process of formalization has been sped up since 2017. The number of formalized miners grew from 5,000 in 2017 to 6,000 in 2018.

Illegal mining activities have released tons of mercury into the environment and caused severe deforestation.

Ismodes said the Peruvian government plans to formalize about 10,000 miners in 2019, of which 1,500 work in Madre de Dios, on the border with Brazil.

On Tuesday, the Peruvian government launched a military operation against illegal mining, carried out by 1,200 police officers, 300 soldiers of the armed forces and 70 prosecutors.

According to the police's environment director, Luis Vera, the Peruvian security forces were sent to the community of La Pampa in Madre de Dios, where they found labor exploitation, trafficking of women, drug trafficking, deforestation and money laundering.

The Peruvian authorities said some 40,000 people work in illegal mining in La Pampa, and are associated with other illegal activities that have turned the area into a lawless land.

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