Jul 17th, 2012
Brazilian police carried out a raid on an illegal mining camp in indigenous Yanomami territory last week, arresting 26 people including engineers and the pilots who were flying miners and supplies in and out of the remote Amazonian region.
“The focus of the operation was to target the economic motor of illegal mining, which is to say the financiers and the planes used to invade indigenous lands,” police superintendent Alexandre Silva Saraiva said.
A recent boom in illegal mining spurred by record high global gold prices is wreaking havoc on remote lands and communities across South America. A total of nine countries have been affected, and major police operations cracking down on illegal mines have also been launched in Colombia and Peru.