Title

Between Informality and Organized Crime: Criminalization of Small-Scale Mining in the Peruvian Rainforest

Date of Publication

2020 12:00 AM

Security Theme

Illegal Mining

Keywords

Illegal Mining, Illegal mining, small-scale mining, illicit mining, Peru, Latin America, Madre de Dios region, organized crime

Description

“Mining, like other types of resource extraction, is often carried out by a number of actors ranging from licit to illicit. Laws governing resource extraction have to balance the interests of the local economy, the environment, and law enforcement. In Peru, the government has attempted to tackle the increasing involvement of organized crime groups (OCGs) in the jungle region of Madre de Dios by placing “illegal mining” under the organized crime legislation, thereby elevating the seriousness of illegal mining to an activity classified as “organized crime.” This chapter studies the implications of this classification in the local context of Madre de Dios, focusing on the impact this legislative change is having on the local population involved in artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM). Ethnographic fieldwork and qualitative interviews reveal how conflicting policies have erased the line between the informal and the illegal, victimizing those local miners willing to make the step toward environmental sustainability through the formalization process."

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Jan 1st, 12:00 AM

Between Informality and Organized Crime: Criminalization of Small-Scale Mining in the Peruvian Rainforest

“Mining, like other types of resource extraction, is often carried out by a number of actors ranging from licit to illicit. Laws governing resource extraction have to balance the interests of the local economy, the environment, and law enforcement. In Peru, the government has attempted to tackle the increasing involvement of organized crime groups (OCGs) in the jungle region of Madre de Dios by placing “illegal mining” under the organized crime legislation, thereby elevating the seriousness of illegal mining to an activity classified as “organized crime.” This chapter studies the implications of this classification in the local context of Madre de Dios, focusing on the impact this legislative change is having on the local population involved in artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM). Ethnographic fieldwork and qualitative interviews reveal how conflicting policies have erased the line between the informal and the illegal, victimizing those local miners willing to make the step toward environmental sustainability through the formalization process."