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.
Cover art: Wikimedia
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