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Security & Strategic Review - March 2019

Peru: Cracking down on illegal mining camps

On 19 February, the Peruvian government began a three-phase operation known as ‘Mercurio’ to retake areas of the Amazon rainforest that had been lost to destructive illegal mining camps. Luís Vera, the police force’s environment chief, confirmed that in the first phase of the operation, the armed forces would move into the camps where they would seek to gather evidence on drug trafficking and exploitation of minors. In the second phase, the military and police would monitor activity in the area, including on highways, for six months; before beginning a two-year period of sustained presence in the region to reassert the Peruvian state’s authority.

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