Photographer: Dado Galdieri/Bloomberg
Photographer: Dado Galdieri/Bloomberg

Peru’s Illegal Gold-Mining Camps up in Flames

The Peruvian government has stepped up raids on illegal gold mines in this remote area of the Amazon, in Puerto Maldonado. Police explosives experts are authorized to destroy the mining equipment after confirmation from Peru’s Mines Ministry that the site is indeed illegal. Impounding the equipment isn’t an option, as most of the sites are deep in the jungle and the legal process is lengthy and costly. Photographs by Dado Galdieri/Bloomberg

A helicopter loaded with supplies and crew flies out of a base camp to make a raid on an illegal gold-mining site inside the Amazonian National Reserve buffering zone of Tambopata, in Puerto Maldonado.

Police officers board the helicopter before the raid.

People carry away some of their belongings while a police officer stands guard during the raid on the camp.

Technicians prepare a load of explosives for detonation to destroy motorcycles, generators, and other supplies at an illegal gold-mining camp.

Police officers among the camp supplies.

A police officer burns tents from the camp.

A cloud of smoke hangs in the sky after police have detonated supplies.

A dog sits next to a miner holding a mattress as he watches the raid.

A wooden ramp used to separate gold sits in a pond at an abandoned illegal mine.

A police officer holds a dog that was rescued during a raid.

Water and debris gather in an open pit left behind by fleeing gold miners.