Police destroy illegal mining operations in one of Peru's biggest raids

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Police destroy illegal mining operations in one of Peru's biggest raids
This view from a police helicopter shows a "tolba," a sluice-like apparatus layered with pieces of carpet to capture gold deposits from water sediment, during a Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016 government raid to destroy illegal gold mining operations in the deforested area known as La Pampa in Peru's Madre de Dios region. This weekâs raid was one of the biggest of more than 60 operations the government has launched since 2014 when wildcat mining was outlawed. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
In this Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016 photo, a sex worker peers from the entrance of a brothel where a police offer sits during a government raid an illegal gold mining operation in La Pampa, in the Madre de Dios region of Peru. Police also targeted about three dozen brothels where officials said they rescued two minors presumably working as prostitutes. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
This Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016 aerial view taken from a police helicopter shows a jungle devastated by gold mining in an area known as La Pampa in Peru's Madre de Dios region, during a government raid to destroy illegal gold mining operations. Illegal wildcat mining has been ravaging pristine jungle and contaminating it with tons of mercury. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
In this Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016 photo, a police officer sports a Guy Fawkes mask he confiscated during continued government raids on illegal wildcat gold mining operations in La Pampa, in Peru's Madre de Dios region. More than 1,000 police and soldiers dynamited and dismantled mining machinery valued at $3 million, including dredges and motors used to separate gold flecks from sand in crude sluices, the government said. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
In this Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016 photo, sex workers peer from their rooms, where they live and work, at a brothel located near La Pampa where police are raiding an illegal gold mining operation in the Madre de Dios region of Peru. A government raid that destroyed scores of illegal gold mining camps in the Madre de Dios region also targeted about three dozen brothels. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
In this Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016 photo, children play next to a crater, created by gold mining, during a government raid to dismantle the illegal wildcat operation in La Pampa, in Peru's Madre de Dios region. Wildcat mining, which became illegal in 2014, has been ravaging pristine jungle and contaminating it with tons of mercury. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
In this Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016 photo, a fire ball rages after police set fire to motorcycles and gasoline at an illegal gold mining camp during a government raid to dismantle it in La Pampa, in Peru's Madre de Dios region. More than 1,000 police and soldiers dynamited and dismantled mining machinery valued at $3 million, including dredges and motors used to separate gold flecks from sand in crude sluices, the government said. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
In this Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016 photo, a worn mattress lays on the floor of a brothel during a police raid on a nearby wildcat gold mine in La Pampa in the Madre de Dios region of Peru. The government raid that destroyed scores of illegal gold mining camps in the region also targeted about three dozen brothels where officials said they rescued two minors presumably working as prostitutes. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
In this Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016 photo, police take cover from a helicopter's backwash during an operation to destroy illegal gold mining camps in La Pampa, in Peru's Madre de Dios region. This week's raid was one of the biggest of more than 60 operations the government has launched since 2014, when wildcat gold mining was outlawed. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
In this Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016 photo, police sit around a fire they built inside a camp they took over from wildcat gold miners, before sleeping in La Pampa, in Peru's Madre de Dios region. The officers arrived on Tuesday, taking over the camp and forcing miners to leave. The next day, police destroyed the mining equipment. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
In this Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016 photo, a woman and children carry some of their belongings after getting evicted by police during a raid on their wildcat gold mining operation in La Pampa, in Peru's Madre de Dios region. Most of the miners are highlands peasants lured by the promise of modest riches, especially now that gold prices have climbed back above $1,200 an ounce. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
In this Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016 photo, a police officer sleeps on discarded food boxes inside a camp formerly used by wildcat gold miners during a government raid on the camp in La Pampa, in Peru's Madre de Dios region. This weekâs raid was one of the biggest of more than 60 operations the government has launched since 2014 when it made wildcat mining illegal. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
This Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016 photo shows the deforestation of what was once pristine rainforest, caused by gold mining, during a government raid on illegal wildcat mining operations in La Pampa, in Peru's Madre de Dios region. The targeted area in southeastern jungles bordering Brazil and Bolivia, a region known as La Pampa, is adjacent the Tambopata reserve, one of the worldâs most biologically diverse ecospheres. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
In this Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016 photo, police stand under a light rain as they organize to destroy wildcat gold mining operations in La Pampa, in Peru's Madre de Dios region. More than 1,000 police and soldiers dynamited and dismantled mining machinery valued at $3 million, including dredges and motors used to separate gold flecks from sand in crude sluices, the government said. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
In this Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016 photo, a police officer sets fire to a structure inside a gold mining camp as part of a government raid on the illegal wildcat operation in La Pampa, in Peru's Madre de Dios region. More than 1,000 police and soldiers dynamited and dismantled mining machinery valued at $3 million. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
In this Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016 photo, sex workers cover their faces during a raid by security forces on illegal wildcat gold mining operations in La Pampa, in the Madre de Dios region of Peru. During the raids, police took into custody two girls under age 18 believed to have been employed in sex work, said Luz Saavedra, the prosecutor in charge. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
In this Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016 photo, the burnt out frames of motorcycles lay on the ground after they were destroyed by security forces during a crackdown on illegal gold mining operations in La Pampa, in the Madre de Dios region of Peru. This weekâs raid was one of the biggest of more than 60 operations the government has launched since 2014, when it made illegal the wildcat mining that has been ravaging pristine jungle and contaminating it with tons of mercury. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
In this Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016 photo, a sex worker sleeps outside a brothel under a sign that reads in Spanish: "Needed. Young women. For bar." during a government raid on a nearby illegal wildcat gold mining operation in La Pampa in the Madre de Dios region of Peru. During the raids, police took into custody two girls under age 18 believed to have been employed in sex work, said Luz Saavedra, the prosecutor in charge. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
In this Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016 photo, a family of wildcat gold miners are surrounded by some of their belongings as they're evicted by security forces from their camp during ongoing government raids on illegal gold mining in La Pampa, in Peru's Madre de Dios region. Most of the miners are highlands peasants lured by the promise of modest riches, especially now that gold prices have climbed back above $1,200 an ounce. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
In this Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2016 photo, a fire ball rises over a gold mining camp after authorities set fire to motorcycles and gasoline as part of ongoing government raids on wildcat gold mining operations in La Pampa, in Peru's Madre de Dios region. More than 1,000 police and soldiers dynamited and dismantled mining machinery valued at $3 million, including dredges and motors used to separate gold flecks from sand in crude sluices, the government said. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
In this Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2016 photo, a woman and child walk away with some of their belongings as they're evicted from a camp set up by wildcat gold miners in La Pampa, in Peru's Madre de Dios region. Most of the miners are highlands peasants lured by the promise of modest riches, especially now that gold prices have climbed back above $1,200 an ounce. They boy wears a Barcelona Lionel Messi soccer jersey. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd)
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Police destroyed illegal gold mining operations in the deforested area known as La Pampa in Peru's Madre de Dios region last week in one of the biggest of more than 60 operations the government has launched since 2014, when it made illegal the wildcat mining that has been ravaging pristine jungle and contaminating it with tons of mercury.

More than 1,000 police and soldiers dynamited and dismantled mining machinery valued at $3 million, including dredges and motors used to separate gold flecks from sand in crude sluices, the government said.

Most of the miners are highlands peasants lured by the promise of modest riches, especially now that gold prices have climbed back above $1,200 an ounce.

The government raid that destroyed scores of illegal gold mining camps in the region also targeted about three dozen brothels where officials said they rescued two minors presumably working as prostitutes.

The targeted area, in the southeastern jungles bordering Brazil and Bolivia, is adjacent the Tambopata reserve, one of the world's most biologically diverse ecospheres.

Police Are Cracking Down On Peru's Illegal Gold Mining Camps

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