A town in Ecuador, aspiring to become a United Nations World Heritage Site, is slowly being destroyed by illegal gold mining.
Zaruma, in the country’s south, is collapsing. Huge sinkholes, created by mine shafts below, have swallowed the local school and brought down homes.
No one has been able to stop the artisanal miners burrowing beneath the village.
The government says it needs protection against the armed gangs that control the “wildcat business.”
In the meantime, residual chemicals from the mines are polluting local rivers. That’s led to an international confrontation. Gerry Hadden has the report.