Gold rush attracts hundreds of dredging rafts to tributary of the Amazon

AUTAZES, Brazil, November 24 (Reuters) – Hundreds of dredging rafts of illegal miners have gathered in a gold rush on the Madeira River, a major tributary of the Amazon, floating hundreds of miles as state and federal authorities dispute who is responsible for stop them.

the flotilla of rafts equipped with pumps are moored together in lines die almost stretch over vast Madeira, and a Reuters witness saw plumes of exhaust pipe die indicates they are vacuuming the riverbed for gold.

“We counted no fewer than 300 rafts. They have been there for at least two weeks and the government has done nothing,” said Greenpeace activist Danicley Aguiar.

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the gold rush, triggered by rumors that someone had found gold there, started as world leaders gathered for a United Nations climate conference in Glasgow, where Brazil sworn it was kicked up protection of the Amazon rainforest. read more

But far-right President Jair Bolsonaro has impaired environmental enforcement since taking office in 2019, turning a blind eye to invasions of protected public and native lands by illegal loggers, livestock farmers and wild gold diggers.

The Madeira flows about 2,000 miles (3,300 kilometers) from its source in Bolivia through the rainforest in Brazil and in the Amazon River.

an antenna view shows dredging rafts operated by illegal miners who have collected in a gold rush on the Madeira, an important tributary of the Amazon River, in Autazes, Amazonas State, Brazil Nov. 23, 2021. REUTERS/Bruno Kelly

The dredging rafts are from the Humaita. driven downstream area, where a wave has been in illegal gold mining, and were last seen about 400 miles (650 km) away in Autazes, a southeastern municipal district of manaus.

a spokesperson for The environment of Brazil protection Ibama agency said it was illegal dredging on the Madeira river was not the responsibility of the federal government but of The state of Amazonas and its environmental agency IPAAM.

The IPAAM said: in a statement that the rafts anchored on the river was under federal jurisdiction, so the National Mining Agency (ANM) was responsible for licenses and it was up to the federal police to check of criminal offenses have been committed. River traffic and pollution belonged to the navy areasaid IPAAM.

The ANM said it was not under their jurisdiction as they were only overseeing legal mining while criminal activity was an issue for the police and courts.

Federal police said they were going to the… best way To hang out with the problem and prevent environmental damage.

“It’s a free-for-all. No of the authorities are doing everything they can to stop illegal mining, die has become an epidemic, to stop in the Amazon,” Aguiar of according to Greenpeace Brazil.

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Reporting by Bruno Kelly Writing by Anthony Boadle Editing by Brad Haynes and Aurora Ellis

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Read More: World News


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