Amazon gold mining drives malaria surges among Indigenous peoples

By JILL LANGLOIS

SÃO PAULO, BRAZILThe mosquitoes come in swarms not long after the forest burns.

As they scorch one patch of trees after another, the miners carve deep pits into the cleared land to extract gold. Many of these excavations encroach on protected land near the clearings, destroying even more of the forest cover the people who live there depend on. The cavernous craters fill with water, which becomes even more stagnant once the mines are abandoned. It is there that mosquito-borne illnesses, like malaria, begin to spread more easily.

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