Brazil’s Amazon rainforest under siege by illegal mineshttps://indianexpress.com/photos/world-news/brazils-amazon-rainforest-under-siege-by-illegal-mines-5491741/

Brazil’s Amazon rainforest under siege by illegal mines

The raids last month targeted several illegal mines in two national parks in Brazil's Amazon. While the battle was won, this week's study indicates the war is far from over

Brazil's Amazon rainforest under siege by illegal mines

Environmental enforcement agents deep in the Amazon rainforest swooped down on an illegal mine in a dawn raid in early November, in a campaign to tamp down on such activities that environmental groups say have reached epidemic scale. (Source: Reuters)

Brazil's Amazon rainforest under siege by illegal mines

The operation was carried out against a handful of what are now known to be hundreds of illegal Amazon mines in Brazil that have been cataloged for the first time in a study released on Monday.(Source: Reuters)

Brazil's Amazon rainforest under siege by illegal mines

The project, coordinated by Brazilian advocacy group Instituto Socioambiental, maps all illegal mines in the Amazon rainforest that sprawls across Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia. (Source: Reuters)

Brazil's Amazon rainforest under siege by illegal mines

As government helicopters descended along a river that had become stagnant pools ravaged by miners digging for gold, many of the miners fled deep into the rainforest. (Source: Reuters)

Brazil's Amazon rainforest under siege by illegal mines

The real target is not the muddy and often barefoot miners, who work in slave-like conditions for unknown local strongmen, according to agents of Brazil's environmental agency Ibama. (Source: Reuters)

Brazil's Amazon rainforest under siege by illegal mines

Unable to haul away the machines, the agents set fire to them, sending black plumes of smoke hundreds of feet into the air. (Source: Reuters)

Brazil's Amazon rainforest under siege by illegal mines

The raids last month targeted several illegal mines in two national parks in Brazil's Amazon. While the battle was won, this week's study indicates the war is far from over. (Source: Reuters)

Brazil's Amazon rainforest under siege by illegal mines

Brazil is home to 453 illegal Amazon mines, according to a mapping project as part of the Amazon Socio-environmental, Geo-referenced Information Project, a joint initiative between Instituto Socioambiental and other environmental groups. (Source: Reuters)

Brazil's Amazon rainforest under siege by illegal mines

The first-ever attempt to map all of the region's illegal mines has recorded 2,500 such operations across six Amazon countries, said coordinator Alicia Rolla. (Source: Reuters)