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In the Amazon rainforest, thousands of people search for gold at the bottom of rivers. An illegal business worth million.
The illegal gold mining on Madeira River, historically embedded in the society of Rondonia state, the fourth with the most serious forest destruction alert is an important part of the region's unofficial economy. Much of this activity takes place on Madeira's riverbed, in clusters of dozens of boats, where the workers live in a precarious situation. The “garimpeiros”, as they are called in Brazil, extract powdered gold from the bottom of the river and use mercury to agglomerate it into small nuggets. This process is highly polluting, affecting both nature and people's health.