Illegal gold mining in Peru is earning 15 percent more than drug trafficking, a government official said Monday.
Daniel Urresti, the High Commissioner for the Formalization and Interdiction of Mining and Environmental Remediation, said in an interview with RPP radio that illegal gold mining has overtaken cocaine trafficking in terms of revenue since 2010.
Private sector economists by their own estimates have previously stated that illegal gold mining is greater than Peru’s cocaine trade in terms of profits, although government figures were not yet available at the time.
Peru is the world’s biggest cocaine producer.
Urresti said that the government will continue in its determination to curb illegal gold mining —and strictly supervise artisanal and informal mining— and it plans to create fuel quotas for Madre de Dios, the region that is at the center of the illicit activity.
According to Urresti, the jungle region uses more fuel than Lima, Peru’s capital and home to close to 10 million people, one-third of Peru’s population.