« My grandparents fished to feed the community in this river. Now it’s just sludge, gasoline, diesel and mercury contamination. Fish die and our Yanomami land is dying.
We Yanomami suffer, we don’t have peace. The gold miners destroy our houses (Yanopë), destroy our forest (Urihi), destroy our spirituality of the shaman and spirits of the forest (Xapori and Ayakora).
The gold miners took everything, our safety & our health. »
- Júnior Herurari Yanomami
Two Yanomami children, 7 and 5 years old, drowned when they were pulled underwater by the powerful pumps on a dredging barge used for illegal gold mining on the Parima river in Roraima, Brazil. The boys had been playing in the river about 300 meters from their home village.
Yanomami families use the rivers and streams near their communal home for drinking water, bathing, fishing and cooking. The invasion of Yanomami territory by thousands of gold miners is leaving forests devastated as well as rivers and fish poisoned by the toxic mercury used in the gold mining process. The illegal gold mining dredges run on diesel fuel that contaminates the atmosphere with smoke and fumes.
The vice president of the Hutukara Yanomami Association, Dario Kopenawa, stated that over 20,000 gold miners are prospecting illegally in the territory where 25,000 Yanomami live, polluting the rivers with mercury used to separate the gold from mud and sand. The community told him that dredging activity for mining “shakes the land and river,” creating waves and sullying the water.
The current gold rush in the Amazon region is detailed in eloquent images here in this report (text in English / Portuguese): report
This madness must stop!
Please help end the cycle of deforestation and devastation!
The consumption of this unnecessary, environment-ravaging product fueled by publicity that attempts to convince the gullible that owning gold confers glamor or worth must end!
The power and responsibility lies with us, the consumers. If we purchase gold or other products from deforestation, we’re complicit.
Please boycott all products from deforestation; gold, palm oil, beef, soy, exotic wood, gem stones, etc.!
Please purchase locally-sourced, in-season items that aren’t transported from 3000 kilometers away!
For more details regarding the merchandising of gold using the Yanomami and trees, please see here: