Illegal gold mining in hemisphere more profitable than drugs – report

-Guyana’s smuggling problems could be linked to broader criminal ties

Gold mining in Mahdia

Guyana is one of a number of countries in the hemisphere that continue to be affected by illegal gold mining and the unregulated movement of gold out of the country which, in the instances of some of the affected countries, are linked to organized crime the returns from which could  exceed even those extracted from the cocaine trade.  

This newspaper has seen a January 2018 article (titled “Organized Crime and Illegal Gold Mining in Latin America authored by Eva Brunner and Ricardo Grande and published by the US- based non-profit organization Global Americans) which names Guyana as an affected country in the broader hemispheric practices of illegal and informal mining much of which, it says, is linked to criminal activities though it does not specifically name Guyana as one of the countries whose gold-mining industry is specifically linked to international crime. 

According to the article, gold has now been embraced as a key element in the profit-driven motivation of hemispheric criminal gangs largely on account of the United States’ so-called “war on drugs”………… and the drastic increase in the price of gold (between 2002 and 2012 gold increased by 500% worldwide) which it says has made illegal gold mining more profitable in Latin America than drug trafficking. According to government estimates, the industry generates about US$2.4 billion a year in Colombia…..