This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS - See his portfolio and get alerts BEFORE every trade. Learn more NOW!

Peru security forces trash illegal mining machines

By RODRIGO ABD and FRANK BAJAK

HUEPETUHE, Peru (AP) a¿¿ In a surprise raid, about 1,500 police and troops dynamited $20 million worth of heavy machinery as Peru's government dialed up a crackdown on illegal gold mining that has badly scarred the ecologically rich southeastern jungle region of Madre de Dios.

The operation Monday was the first such action since a nationwide ban on illegal mining took effect April 19. Security forces accompanied by prosecutors blew up backhoes, generators and water pumps in the Huepetuhe district, a mining boomtown dating back to the 1980s that includes two entire streets of brothels and many more of machine shops.

Some adjacent buildings caught fire from explosions witnessed by an Associated Press photographer, but there were no reports of injuries. Police and soldiers cleared out adjoining camps first.

"We are using specially designed methods and strategies to avoid violence," said Daniel Urresti, a former army general running the operation. "There hasn't been a single injury."

Madre de Dios state has an estimated 40,000 illegal miners, most centered near the commercially vital Interoceanic Highway that links the Pacific Ocean with Brazil.

They use tons of mercury to bind the gold flecks they dig up, and have ravaged forests and poisoned rivers in a biodiverse region that is also home to tribes living in voluntary isolation.

Huepetuhe itself is flanked by a 1-by-10-mile wasteland gouged out of tropical forest. Some mining claims in Huepetuhe are legal.

The equipment destroyed was on the outskirts of town or at a nearby river. It included 15 backhoes, 45 big motors used to suck water from rivers and nine dredges, Urresti said. All mining in rivers is illegal in Peru.

Before the deadline, the government began sharply reducing gasoline supplies to Madre de Dios, idling mining machinery. Its multi-pronged approach to snuffing out illegal mining has included confiscating illegal gold at domestic airports and dynamiting illegal gold refineries in the coastal cities of Chala and Nazca.

1 of 3

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Try it NOW
Only $9.95
Try it NOW
14-Days Free
Try it NOW

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG

Markets

DOW 18,288.63 +155.93 0.86%
S&P 500 2,117.39 +12.89 0.61%
NASDAQ 5,008.0960 +44.5690 0.90%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs