In French Guiana, illegal gold mining has been thriving for decades. Fuelled by clandestine workers from neighbouring Suriname and Brazil, this criminal enterprise has reached near-industrial proportions, destroying thousands of hectares of precious rainforest. But lately, the French armed forces have been cracking down on this illegal activity. FRANCE 24’s Nicolas Pouillot reports on their efforts.
The French army and Gendarmerie are playing a cat and mouse cat against very well organized and determined illegal “garimpeiros” gold panners from Brazil and Suriname in French Guyana’s dense jungle that is very hard to access. (But very rich in natural ressources)
Lately,more operations are being conducted which lead to an increase of destruction of illegal minning camps,the destruction and seizure of materials and the capture of “garimpeiros”. Gun fights aren’t rare.