Peru:

The Cost of Gold

For more than ten years now, the Peruvian Amazon has been hit by a gold fever whose effects on nature can only be observed from satellite images: huge areas of untouched rainforest of once unique biodiversity have been cleared and transformed into sandy deserts.

In an area called La Pampa, 40,000 illegal gold diggers felled without the police or military being able to stop them. La Pampa was controlled by criminal gangs who, with their own security guards and contract killers, set up a parallel state where prostitution, human trafficking and murder were part of everyday life.

But despite the extreme violence, more and more people moved from the bitterly poor regions of the Peruvian Andes to the Amazon lowlands. There the miners could easily earn 50 dollars a day; the illegal gold was sold to middlemen and mixed with the legal gold that Peru, the seventh largest producer in the world, mines in the Andes. Gold from the Amazon has found its way into the safes, jewellery and semiconductors of consumers around the world. At the beginning of this year the Peruvian state finally intervened and sent the army to La Pampa to clear the camps.

A film by Carl Gierstorfer 

Camera: Carl Gierstorfer
Creative Producer & Sound: Carmel Fuhg
Sound Mix: Jochen Voerste
Line Producer: Ko Miklik
Executive Producer: Antje Boehmert
Commissioning Editors ARTE: Uwe Lothar Müller, Andrea Fies

A production of DOCDAYS Productions for ARTE G.E.I.E.

Length: 25 min
Release Date: 2019

For more than ten years now, the Peruvian Amazon has been hit by a gold fever whose effects on nature can only be observed from satellite images: huge areas of untouched rainforest of once unique biodiversity have been cleared and transformed into sandy deserts.

In an area called La Pampa, 40,000 illegal gold diggers felled without the police or military being able to stop them. La Pampa was controlled by criminal gangs who, with their own security guards and contract killers, set up a parallel state where prostitution, human trafficking and murder were part of everyday life.

But despite the extreme violence, more and more people moved from the bitterly poor regions of the Peruvian Andes to the Amazon lowlands. There the miners could easily earn 50 dollars a day; the illegal gold was sold to middlemen and mixed with the legal gold that Peru, the seventh largest producer in the world, mines in the Andes. Gold from the Amazon has found its way into the safes, jewellery and semiconductors of consumers around the world. At the beginning of this year the Peruvian state finally intervened and sent the army to La Pampa to clear the camps.

A film by Carl Gierstorfer 

Camera: Carl Gierstorfer
Creative Producer & Sound: Carmel Fuhg
Sound Mix: Jochen Voerste
Line Producer: Ko Miklik
Executive Producer: Antje Boehmert
Commissioning Editors ARTE: Uwe Lothar Müller, Andrea Fies

A production of DOCDAYS Productions for ARTE G.E.I.E.

Length: 25 min
Release Date: 2019