Shady contracts, backdoor deals spur illegal gold mining in Bolivian Amazon

  • In the northern regions of the department of La Paz, Bolivia, illegal gold mining has led to widespread deforestation and mercury pollution.
  • The Bolivian Amazon, including protected areas like Madidi National Park, face a growing risk of environmental destruction in the years to come from this ever-expanding industry.
  • Mongabay visited multiple illegal mine sites, interviewed the investors behind them, and reviewed their work contracts to better understand how the industry operates unchecked in secluded parts of the Amazon.
  • The investigation found that miners take advantage of the government’s lack of resources and slow-moving bureaucracy to avoid accountability for the harm they do to the environment; they also rely on illegal, backdoor agreements with well-funded foreign investors to maximize production. 

Source: Shady contracts, backdoor deals spur illegal gold mining in Bolivian Amazon