Mining rafts on the Madeira River are burned in a police operation

A police operation destroyed 27 vessels used for illegal mining on the Madeira River this Saturday (27).

Although the mining of rafts is considered a clandestine practice, it has existed for decades on the Madeira River and mainly employs riverside dwellers in the region.

Part of the vessels seized and burned this Saturday by the PF (Federal Police), which triggered the Uiara operation, were abandoned. The operation had the participation of the Navy and IBAMA (Brazilian Institute for the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources).

After the operation, the Minister Anderson Torres (Justice) went to social media and stated that the ministry acted “immediately” against the crime.

In recent days, hundreds of illegal ferries have concentrated on an important stretch of the Madeira tributary of the Amazon River, in Autazes (distant 110 km from Manaus in a straight line).

The images reverberated, causing groups of prospectors to disperse to escape the inspection that was announced last Thursday (25) by the vice president, Hamilton Mourão.

There were seizures of mercury in the ferries and gold , metal that attracted hundreds of miners to the site. One person was detained.

Garimpeiros stated that the operation teams burned the vessels with their fuel and left them on the riverbank with only documents and belongings.

In the Yanomami Indigenous Land, in Roraima, the increase in the presence of miners has accentuated the serious health crisis. In Pará, the use of excavators (PCs) has destroyed dozens of riverbanks and streams, in addition to generating conflicts and violence. In both cases, inspection has been ineffective to contain the increase in this crime.

In the Madeira River, there have already been some attempts at regularization, which hamper the lack of coordination between the state and federal government and the limited structure of environmental agencies to license and inspect.

In January, the government of Rondônia regulated mining on the Madeira River, through an environmental license in several stages. But in practice, few rafts and dredgers (with more structure and destructive power) operate in the river on a regular basis.

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