Illegal mining continues amid state of emergency in Zaruma

Illegal mining continues amid state of emergency in Zaruma

In a last operation in Zaruma, the Army found people trying to extract gold from the subsoil of the city and seized weapons and explosives.

This January 8, 2021, the Armed forces (FF.AA.) announced that they seized weapons, ammunition and explosives during a control operation in a mine entrance located in the subsoil of Zaruma, in El Oro.

That mine, within the exclusion zone of all extractive activity in that city, the soldiers sighted people carrying out illegal mining activities. Upon noticing the presence of the uniformed men, the suspects fled.

Despite of Exception status, decreed on December 16, 2021, during the control operations, foci of these illegal activities continue to be detected, which caused, at the end of last year, a sinkhole that destroyed homes.

Within the last intervention of this Saturday, January 8, 2022, the military seized a submachine gun, a pistol and 13 9-millimeter caliber ammunition.

Transfer of evidence in Zaruma

All the evidence was transferred, under chain of custody, to the Arms Control Center in Gold; and they will be part of an investigation.

Just 12 days ago, that is, on December 28, 2021, the Armed Forces had already seized 35 sticks of dynamite, 200 ordinary capsules, three artisanal submachine guns, a revolver, three feeders and 30 ammunition.

This discovery occurred during an operation in the sector called El Gallinero, in the vicinity of the San Antonio mine, located under the Zaruma sinkhole.

On January 6, 2022, Guillermo Lasso, President of the Republic, announced special bonuses, such as monetary aid, to families affected by the damages of illegal mining in the area. In addition, at least $ 3.5 million will be invested to reinforce the city’s duel, after the ravages of the last sinkhole. (JS)

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