Peru has beautiful rain forests that are one of the most biologically diverse places on earth, but the forests are under a huge threat: illegal gold mining.
The price of gold is high, and illegal mining
has grown more prevalent, particularly in Peru where the largest amount of gold is collected. The miners use mercury to process the gold, and the mercury flows into the rivers and the soil. The Peruvian Government had to declare a public health emergency because of the mercury.
Environmentalists say that independent miners create more damage than corporate miners because corporate miners tend to focus on one area while independent miners roam all over the rain forests, sifting through about 200 tons of topsoil to find flecks of gold for a single wedding ring.
The Government has sent in the military to fight the miners, but it’s a very difficult fight
because the miners are always on the move