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Illegal Gold Mining: Five Suspects Detained in Costa Rica

Five suspects have been apprehended in Costa Rica for their alleged involvement in the illegal mining of gold. The Osa Conservation Area Control and Protection (ACOSA), stationed in the Corcovado National Park, carried out the operation to detain these individuals who were suspected of engaging in illegal gold mining activities within the protected area.

According to SINAC (National System of Conservation Areas), one of the suspects was caught on the Tigre River while involved in illegal gold mining operations. Subsequently, this individual was transferred to the Court in Ciudad Neily. The remaining four suspects were captured on the Rincón River. These individuals were utilizing river sloping, a method that causes alterations in the course of rivers and streams. This activity leads to problems such as sedimentation, erosion, and overall harm to the protected areas within the park.

Rafael Gutiérrez, the Vice-Minister of the Environment, acknowledged that illegal gold mining is a prevalent issue in the region. He emphasized that the area is also plagued by other offenses against nature, including hunting, vegetation destruction, and river pollution. Gutiérrez reiterated SINAC’s dedication to combating these crimes and praised the ongoing efforts of their control and protection officers in addressing these problems.

Authorities in charge of environmental preservation are appealing to the communities residing in the Osa Peninsula to abstain from engaging in illegal activities such as gold mining. These activities have a detrimental impact on the local ecosystems and contribute to the destruction of the National Park. The Corcovado National Park is renowned for its rich biodiversity and serves as a significant tourist attraction, generating economic benefits for the surrounding communities.

To encourage public involvement in the fight against environmental crimes, SINAC has urged the population to report any such incidents by calling 1192 or visiting the website www.sitada.go.cr.

The National Park is a highly diverse region, housing numerous animal and plant species. Spanning over 41,788 hectares, the park safeguards a variety of habitats, including lagoons, marshes, mangroves, rivers, humid and low-elevation cloud forests, as well as 46 kilometers of sandy coastline. The preservation of this natural haven is crucial for combating climate change and supporting the livelihoods of the local communities, which rely on eco-tourism as a source of income.

The detention of the five suspects involved in illegal gold mining within the Corcovado National Park highlights the ongoing battle against environmental crimes in Costa Rica. It serves as a reminder of the importance of preserving protected areas for the well-being of both the ecosystem and the local communities dependent on them. Continued efforts by authorities, along with public participation in reporting such offenses, are essential in safeguarding the country’s natural treasures for future generations.

Source : Ticotimes