More than 200 ferries started leaving the river during the night. This Friday morning (26), there were few vessels left. Quite different from the scenario earlier in the week.
Audio from miners show that the group is trying to escape the operation that will be coordinated by the Federal Police to repress illegal gold mining in the Madeira River.
Images posted on social networks reveal that for four months the miners have been going down the Madeira River in search of gold. According to Greenpeace. they travel 120 kilometers along the river, between the municipalities of Borba and Autazes.
The Public Prosecutor’s Office called this Friday (26) the Federal Court of Accounts (TCU) to investigate a possible omission by the inspection bodies, especially the Federal Police and the Navy under the argument that “It is not possible to accept the illegal exploitation of gold deposits in the Amazon region, nor to remain silent about the fact that this exploration is not complying with the constitutional precepts and putting the lives of the communities in the region at risk”.
This Friday, the Federal Police sent a plane to Manaus that should be used in the operation against illegal mining in Madeira. Agents from various states and the military are also being mobilized.
The illegal extraction of gold brings a lot of economic, environmental, social and even health damage. In the process of separating the ore, the miners use heavy metal mercury, which, when mixed in the water that returns to the river, becomes toxic and is capable of contaminating all beings that live in the water, including fish, the main source of food for riverside dwellers.
“Not only does the population that live in this area enter the food chain, it enters fish and fish move around, so these fish can carry this mercury and spread it for up to 500 kilometers from the point of contamination. So who is in Manaus, which goes to the fish market in Manaus, which regularly consumes fish, may be buying and consuming fish contaminated with mercury if this sin comes from the Madeira River”, explains Paulo Basta, public health researcher at Fiocruz.
The government of Amazonas asked for support from the National Force to combat illegal mining on the Madeira River.