Mega-garimpo on the Madeira River disperses for fear of inspection

Frightened by the repercussion of the images of hundreds of illegal ferries concentrated in a stretch of the Madeira River, an important tributary of the Amazon River, the miners began to disperse in the last hours to escape the inspection announced by the federal government.

According to reports obtained by Folha, there are no longer large ferry lines in the municipality of Autazes, 26 km from Manaus in a straight line, recorded earlier this week. On Friday morning (26), about 26 were already in front of the neighboring city of Nova Olinda do Norte, a neighboring municipality , also bathed by the Madeira River.

The mining of ferries is illegal, but it has existed for decades on the Madeira River and mainly employs riverside dwellers in the region. The concentration on Autazes was due to the emergence of a “gossip”, when a large amount of gold is found, causing a rush to the place. This type of concentration is recurrent in the region.

This Thursday (25), Vice President Hamilton Mourão announced that the Federal Police and the Navy would act against mining. Ibama would also participate in the operation.

Illegal mining and mining in the Amazon has gained new momentum since 2019, stimulated by President Jair Bolsonaro’s (non-party) promises to legalize ) and the rise in the price of gold.

In the Yanomami Indigenous Land (TI) 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 in Amazonas, which hamper the lack of coordination between the state and federal government and the limited structure of environmental agencies to license and inspect.

In 2017, miners angry at the destruction of rafts that operated within conservation units, set fire to the offices and cars of Ibama and ICMBio in Humaitá, in the south of the Amazon and also on the banks of the Madeira. in several steps. 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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