Over 50,000 hectares of rainforests in Peru was estimated to have been destroyed in 2013 due to illegal mining activities. In 2012, 18,000 hectares of rainforest was destroyed due to illegal mining.
Illegal mining has become a profitable activity on the black market for criminals in Peru. The value of the illegal gold mining in 2013 was 15 percent higher than the profits drug traffickers received from trafficking cocaine.
Source: Cecilia Jamasmie, “Illegal mining is Latin America’s new cocaine,” Mining.com, December 23, 2013.