Amazon slowly eaten away by gold rush's illegal mines

Seen from above, the Amazon resembles a huge billiards table -- a field of intense green pockmarked by brown stains. These are the sites of illegal mines, and they reveal the scope of a gold rush that threatens the lungs of the planet.

"The loss of our natural resources is incalculable," says Antonio Fernandez Jeri, Peru's high commissioner on illegal mining.

"Each lost hectare represents unique flora and fauna species," he told AFP.
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