HUEPETUHE, Peru (AP) – This nearly half-century-old Amazon boomtown has gone bust with the government’s recent crackdown on illegal gold mining.
Mayor Marco Ortega estimates more than 22,000 people have left Huepetuhe since the government halted gasoline shipments in April and sent troops to destroy heavy machinery used in mining that it deemed illegal.
He says only about 3,000 people remain.
“The economy has collapsed,” says Ortega. “The gold buyers, the hardware stores, hostels and all kinds of businesses have shut down. We are continues here
Peru: The government’s illegal mining crackdown in Madre de Dios is starting to work (plus kudos to AP)
And that’s a very good thing. Here’s AP on the creation of ghost town in the jungle, here’s how the report starts.
While we’re at it, kudos due to AP for the way they’ve led the coverage of this story. They were on the ground in MDD before anyone else and put the whole subject in front of the local politicians, who didn’t know or didn’t care about the depravation that was happening. It’s not over yet of course, the illegal and highly polluting mining is still going on. But things are starting to get a little better there.