Since the global recession of 2008, illegal gold mining has tripled in Peru. Most of the devastation is being wrought within the region of Madre de Dios, near the city of Puerto Maldonado. Follow this team of journalists when they venturing into the heart of the jungles where illegal mining is at its worst. In the process of watching this film, you’ll discover that the problem of illegal mining is more complex and more difficult to end than it may seem.
In this episode of TechKnow, a television program that explores global issues through the eyes of entomologist Phil Torres, and biologist Marita Davison who visit Peru to explore the horrifying problem of illegal gold mining.
The film starts by showing scenes of lush virgin jungle, “what the jungle is supposed to be like,” which are quickly contrasted with images of what is happening in the jungles of the Madre de Dios. What you see is a wasteland. It seems as if you were gazing at the surface of another planet.
Out of the many pieces of media coverage about illegal mining in the Madre de Dios, I think that this is the most informative. Within the scope of this 20-minute show, we learn about the history of illegal mining and what brought its rise, why its so destructive, what obstacles the government faces in cracking down on the miners, and what the other environmental and health issues are in relation to illegal mining.
This film is disturbing, to say the least, but should be relevant to all who care about the health of Peru’s jungles. The film highlights a real issue that is happening right now. While it is possible for visitors to find their way to virgin areas of Peruvian jungle for tours or retreats, we should also open our minds to what is happening underneath our noses.
Here is the film:
What do you think?
What is your response after watching this film? What ideas do you have that we can do to stop illegal mining?
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Cover art: Wikimedia