Armed Gold Miners Rise Up Against Government

( – As left-wing Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva tries to regain control of its Amazon territories a shootout has ensued between gold miners and the government, according to The Hill. The indigenous Yanomami reserves have reportedly seen a gold mining boom in the last decade under conservative leadership. Small-scale miners allegedly conquered large portions of the forest in the illegal industry.

The conquests have resulted in deforestation and contributed to the pollution of surrounding rivers, as well as limited the supply of animals in the area. The Yanomami are now reportedly dying of malaria and malnutrition as a consequence, according to human rights activists. The Washington Post ran an article questioning whether or not former President Jair Bolsonaro is guilty of committing genocide for turning a blind eye.

After a contentious election that many Brazilians claim was rigged, the left-wing da Silva is reportedly looking to rehabilitate the area as he proclaimed at the 2022 United Nations conference that he will end deforestation by 2030. In an attempt to deliver on his promise, he militarized the federal police to take the forest back as part of his January state of emergency

But the miners are reportedly fighting back. They attacked officials from the environmental ministry during an inspection. Four prospectors died, including a fugitive from the state of Amapá. As federal police are investigating the incident, they believe that a criminal faction controls the area. Agents seized a total of eleven weapons, including 12mm rifles and .45 caliber pistols. 

In late April, three indigenous people were shot by miners, leaving two hospitalized. But da Silva’s war has thus far been successful for him. In the three months since he began his mission, the area has seen a reduction of 80 percent in deforestation. 

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