Environment

Major Amazon mines contaminate rivers and threaten local population

Polluted rivers on an Amazonian indigenous reserve have been linked to major tin miner Taboca, which denies any responsibility for dam leaks

mining amazon indigenous
Indigenous groups demonstrate against bills greenlighting mining activities in the Amazon. Photo: Lula Marques/APT

This week, The Brazilian Report narrated the plight of the Munduruku indigenous people, under threat from illegal gold miners in Brazil’s Amazon and the violence, deforestation, disease, and pollution they bring with them. Recent studies found that 99 percent of the Munduruku community had over 10µg/L of mercury in their blood streams. Commonly used by wildcat miners to obtain gold in rivers, such high levels of mercury pose a severe risk of poisoning.

However, these illegal mining operations are not the only ones polluting the Amazonian environment and causing health risks to traditional peoples. A recent leak...

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