Mourão says the PF and the Navy will act against illegal mining in the Madeira River

Vice President Hamilton Mourão said this Thursday (25) that the Federal Police and the Navy will act in the Madeira River region, where there is a strong presence of miners.

In recent days, hundreds of dredging rafts have been identified in a rush for gold in the river, an important tributary of the Amazon.[essas quadrilhas]

“The PF and the Navy are already preparing to act,” said the vice president at the Planalto Palace. According to Mourão, the Navy will identify illegal vessels and seize them.

O MPF (Federal Public Ministry) recommended on Wednesday (24) to federal and state agencies and autarchies a coordinated action for the repression and dismantling of illegal mining in the region. days.650

The Minister of Justice and Public Security, Anderson Torres, said this Thursday (25) that “in a few days” an operation involving agents of the Federal Police, the National Force and the Army will start operating in the region. “The operational planning is finished and in the next few days we will be there,” he told the press.

Torres said that there is still no estimate of how many agents will act against illegal mining. “Very soon we will have results”, he said, without going into details.

Mourão gave two hypotheses for this phenomenon in location: emergence of gold in this new region or joint action with drug trafficking.

“We have had several reports that drug trafficking there, these gangs that act here in the Center-South of the country, in order to protect their routes, they went up there”, he said.

“And one of the ways to [essas quadrilhas] maintain themselves is by supporting actions of this nature. Even because if gold is illegally extracted, it is an asset that they can exchange for drugs.”

The miners usually work near the municipality of Humaitá, where there has been an increase in the illegal extraction of But now the dredging rafts have sailed below that area—they were last seen about 650 kilometers away, in Autazes, a municipality southeast of Manaus.

In its recommendation, the Public Ministry demands measures from the Army, through the Amazon Military Command, the Superintendence of the Federal Police in Amazonas, the Itacoatiara River Agency, the Navy unit in charge of the Madeira River; from Ipaam (Institute for Environmental Protection of Amazonas), from the presidency of Ibama (Brazilian Institute for the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources) and from the superintendence of the ANM (National Mining Agency) in Amazonas.

“Given the scale of the ‘garimpeiro invasion’, the efficient repression of the activity necessarily requires and coordinated efforts of different government agencies, each within its attributions, with a prominent role in the repressive and environmental policing activities of the member bodies of Sisnama (National Environment System), Ibama, at the federal level, and Ipaam, in state level”, states an excerpt of the recommendation. ​

“The coordinated action between all these actors would provide a quick and efficient response to the illegal activity taking place in the municipality of Autazes, with a prominent and coordinating role to be exercised by the agencies environmental, holders of special expertise in combating environmental offenses in the Amazon”, he also says.

The bodies must, according to the MPF, identify and fine the irregular mining operation in operation or with signs operation in the Madeira gutter or tributaries, in addition to adopting measures to stop illegal activities. If necessary, the recommendation says, the “instruments of crime” must be destroyed.

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