As you might recall, this past December we successfully pressured government officials to return to us our 616 ha brazil nut concession in Madre de Dios. We knew that illegal gold miners had flocked to this remote area during the pandemic. We also knew that some had invaded our land. What we didn’t realize was how many there were.
This past January and February, Darwin (PARC’S Executive Director) and Gerson (PARC’s Forest Guardian), travelled through each section of our concession. They discovered a total of 11 (!) illegal mining camps on our land. Darwin confronted politely – but firmly – the head miner at each camp. They were told that PARC is the owner of the concession and they need to leave. For those not at their camp, Darwin left them a strongly worded message in spray paint.
We’re happy to report that many of the miners have left peacefully thanks to Darwin’s courage and diplomacy. However, we still have five camps with miners refusing to leave. Last week, Darwin returned to the concession with a lawyer and a government official from the forestry office. They explained that if the miners refused to leave we would have no choice but to return with the police to arrest them. We don’t want to do this. We hope they will leave on their own accord. But we must protect our land.
I am so grateful for Darwin’s courage, determination, and diplomacy. In a few weeks, I will be returning to our brazil nut concession to proudly support Darwin. I hope to return with the good news that all the miners have vacated our land.
As always, I thank you for your support – in both words of encouragement and financial gifts.
Founder & President
Amazon Rainforest Conservancy (ARC)
Peruvian Amazon Rainforest Conservancy (PARC)
Amazon Rainforest Conservancy Northern Peru (ARCNP)