After the alarm that was lit on Sunday June 23, 2019 for the dispute of territories in the illegal mines of Buenos Aires, the researchers presented the latest reports of how the situation is in the open sites in that small parish of Imbabura.
Photographs that were captured between Monday and yesterday show that on the mountain there are dozens of small houses in which the miners live.
At the end of 2017 and the beginning of 2018, when this phenomenon broke out, there were only covachas covered with black plastic on the site. Now, many are made of wood, with laminated ceilings.
A report that researchers received last month indicates that there are 5,000 people engaged in this activity. Information that is officially handled indicates that there is a constant flow of workers from all over the country and that after improving the settlements there are people who no longer go to downtown Buenos Aires.
Most houses have electricity and electric generators. There is piped water, which is extracted from a source behind the mines. The uniformed ones say they even have Internet service. In addition, there are bars, liquor stores, restaurants, brothels, hardware stores, etc. A bottle of water of 250 milliliters costs USD 1 and a lunch, USD 5.
Everything moves with money in cash and the USD 100 bills abound. Enlarge This is one of the income to open fields without permits. Photo: Courtesy From the highest point of the hills were installed dozens of metal cables that make the function of pulleys.
That’s where the stones move. In the lower part, on the other hand, there are the chanchas, where they are turned into dust. From that material the minerals are separated and gold is obtained. Personnel investigating this case point out that after the confrontation on Sunday, the miners returned to illicit activity.
In fact, on Monday, the Energy Minister, Carlos Pérez, confirmed that the public force is only in the populated center and not in the mines, which are two and three hours away by areas covered in yellow mud. A gendarme told that after the attacks of the weekend, 40 men of elite units of the Police, accompanied by trained dogs, arrived at the mines and made a search in search of corpses, as the residents warned of dead and injured. So far, the police had said that four are injured.
But yesterday, the governor of Imbabura, Galo Zamora, also confirmed a person killed by bullet wounds. The official also assured that in the parish the presence of two irregular groups was detected, which would be the cause of the shooting. According to Zamora, the injured are foreigners. Due to the seriousness of the injuries, two were transferred to Quito and two more recovered in a hospital in Ibarra.
They are all in police custody. One lost sight because of buckshot. Enlarge An open hole to extract the stones, which will then be processed. Photo: Courtesy For the Governor, this only reflects the insecurity that exists in the area. “In the middle of that scenario, unscrupulous people began to use force and blackmail. But that has to end. It will not be allowed that anxiety, extortion, washing, prostitution, alcoholism and drug addiction continue to affect the population of Buenos Aires.
” That is why actions were coordinated with the Army and the Police, to control the situation. The Minister of the Interior, María Paula Romo, assured that “a new phase of occupation and control of the Buenos Aires area has begun.” Then he said: “Neither in this nor in other areas will we allow illegal mining to win the battle.
” The authorities of Imbabura confirmed that they will be given a deadline for people who are not from the site to leave the place. On May 29, dozens of workers left the area, but there are many who are still working. Military and police said they will follow the controls on the access routes to prevent strangers or their families from entering the town or the mines. The idea is to give tranquility to the town.