Illegal mining in Peru “has its days numbered” thanks to new nation-wide enforcement and policing measures approved over the weekend by President Ollanta Humala by Supreme Decree.
Speaking to RPP radio (in Spanish), the High Commissioner for the Formalization and Interdiction of Mining and Environmental Remediation, Daniel Urresti, said the fresh regulations aim to eradicate “once and for all” the unlawful practice and reduce criminal activities associated with it.
Urresti also said the government will continue to strictly supervise artisanal and informal mining, as it focuses on curbing illicit operations in key areas, such as the gold-rich southern province of Madre de Dios. The region has been included in a fresh fuel-restriction policy, after authorities detected that over 80% of the fuel consumed in the area was being used in illegal mining.
The news come only a couple of days after Colombia called the global community to help making illegal mining an international crime.
Illegal mining has become the "new cocaine" of Latin America in terms of illicit trading, as the Andean countries, as well as Venezuela and Brazil are said to be obtaining higher profits from the unlicensed activity than from drug trafficking. The ecological damage is even greater.