Brazil: Lula's government wants to end illegal gold panning in the Amazon

An aerial view of an illegal gold mine in the Amazon in 2019. AFP - JOAO LAET

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A month after his inauguration, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is tackling the problem of illegal gold panning that grew under the tenure of his predecessor, Jair Bolsonaro.

The air force has begun to be deployed for air control of the Yanomami indigenous territory in the north of the country, where clandestine gold diggers are causing terrible damage.


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Deforestation which deprives indigenous people of their means of subsistence, pollution of rivers with mercury which makes it possible to separate gold from sediments, but also violence against populations and explosion of cases of infectious diseases, the list of damage caused by gold miners is long. . 

The new Brazilian power is determined to fight them.

Illegal gold panning will be dismantled

 ”, assures the Minister of Defense, José Mucio, who will go there next week.

Fighter planes and detection planes equipped with powerful radars have already been deployed.

Prohibition of overflight of certain areas

A decree issued by President Lula provides for the prohibition of overflights of certain areas, and even authorizes the air force to fire to force suspicious planes to land.

The artisanal miners often use planes to get to the heart of indigenous lands that are difficult to access by road.

The soldiers have also dropped 61 tons of food and medicine in Yanomami land in recent days and set up a field hospital to treat intestinal problems, malaria and skin diseases that affect many children. 

Earlier this week, a Supreme Court judge called for members of former President Jair Bolsonaro's government to be included in the investigation

into "


 " against the Yanomami people



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  • Brazil

  • Environment

  • Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva