On Thursday Prime Minister Oscar Valdes said the Peruvian government would maintain a firm stance against illegal mining in the country.
According to Andina, Valdes said illegal mining in Madre de Dios resulted in the trafficking of people, child labor, deforestation, and drug trafficking.
Valdes said President Ollanta Humala had decided to “take the bull by the horns,” and fight against the illegal miners.
Valdes’ comments come one day after 500 protestors clashed with police, and tried to take over the Continental bridge, resulting in 3 deaths, and over 30 people injured.
The Prime Minister said illegal miners were already serving as district authorities, and even in Congress. "This has to stop for the good of the country,” he said.
"We believe this is when we have to act, this decision cannot be postponed, we\‘re acting very firmly."
According to Andina, Valdes said rumors the illegal miners were poor were not true, and said they actually earn much more money since they don’t pay taxes.
The Prime Minister said the government was creating a program to incorporate illegal miners, and allow them to legitimize their businesses.