Peru declares a state of emergency on illegal gold mining

Americas Now

Illegal gold mining has been having a devastating effect on forests across South America for years. The Peruvian government recently launched a formidable operation to stop the epidemic. It’s called “Operation Mercurio.”

A force of some 1800 police and military officers are behind the mission to stop the activity. The special forces were deployed to Peru’s Amazon. The habitat destruction caused by illegal gold mining has been so severe it’s unclear if the area can ever recover.

The practice not only destroys the Amazon rainforest but drives modern-day slavery, human trafficking and the sexual exploitation of children.

Correspondent Dan Collyns travelled to Peru’s Madre De Dios. He reports on whether the government’s attempt to crackdown on the illicit industry can succeed after many others have failed.