` Illegal Gold Mining has Become the ` New Cocaine of Latin America ‘ as Andean Countries Generate High Profits’

#AceNewsServices – COLUMBIA – May 01 – At least three people were killed and 25 others are still trapped after an illegal gold mine collapsed in Santander de Quilichao, a city in the south-western Colombian province of Cauca, Agencia EFE cited emergency services officials as saying.

The collapse occurred in a rural district off San Antonio Road, fire chief Victor Claros told reporters, adding that victims’ bodies have been removed from the site.

The media has dubbed illegal gold mining as the “new cocaine” of Latin America, as the Andean countries – including Colombia, Venezuela, Peru, and Brazil – are generating higher profits from it than from drug trafficking.

Illegal mining has become the “new cocaine” of Latin America in terms of illicit trading, as countries such as Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Venezuela and Bolivia, are said to be obtaining higher profits from the unlicensed activity than from drug trafficking. The ecological damage is even greater.

According to Chilean newspaper El Mercurio (in Spanish), the shady business in the Amazonian jungle of Peru is already generating 15% more profits than the country’s total estimated drug trafficking. The figure is shocking, as Peru is said to already be the world’s largest exporter of cocaine.

The latest study published by Peru’s government last month, revealed that illicit gold extraction has led to violence, pollution and the destruction of parts of the country’s precious rainforest— more than 50,000 hectares so far. The figure is significantly higher than the 18,000 ha authorities estimated last year.

What it’s worse, unlawful mining has spread to surrounding countries such as Ecuador, Venezuela and Bolivia, which is intensifying the damage on the Amazon, as well in water sources, reports El Mercurio.

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