In 1993, more than 2,000 Yanomami Indians were killed by garimpeiros (independent gold diggers) who entered the Yanomami’s land in the Amazon rainforest along the Brazilian and Venezuelan border during the new gold rush. Today, just like the Yanomami before them, people are dying in the name of gold and greed.
The global economic crisis has caused the price of gold and minerals to skyrocket, and in turn has caught the attention of the money hungry, some of whom have gone so far as to kill anyone they believe stands in their way.
Though the scramble for South America’s undiscovered gold in the Amazon is nothing new, the down turn of the economy has brought out those willing to do anything for it, even murder teens like Elton Thompson, who was bludgeoned to death by a miner.
“There is a direct correlation between the price of gold and what we have to deal with these days,” said Guyanan police commander David Ramnarine to the Demerara Waves news website after a string of gold-related killings in his country, which sits along the northern coast of South America.
The Guardian is reporting that the mineral-rich rainforests of Brazil, Guyana, Peru, Bolivia, Colombia, and Venezuela have seen increases in violence, disease, and overall conflict since both the U.S. and European economies have taken a hit.