Court orders the arrest of 42 miners who threatened Gorongosa Park

Tribunal manda prender 42 garimpeiros que ameaçavam Parque da Gorongosa

A total of 42 illegal miners were sentenced to between eight and 14 months in prison, plus fines, after being caught in the act near Gorongosa National Park, a conservation area in the center of the countryannounced this Monday the institution.

Illegal mining in search of various resources, such as gold, is a problem affecting several areas in the interior of the country, causing land destruction in a disorganized and unsafe manner.

In this case, the joint operation of the park's enforcement agency and the police caught the miners red-handed on June 24 "illegally extracting mineral resources" in Nhandzeia, Gorongosa district, a buffer zone of the nature reserve.

According to a statement from Gorongosa Park, the diggers had already been verbally warned "to abandon that location and activity.

"They promised to quit, but they didn't: they chose to continue and intensify their activity, even acquiring new machinery," the park describes.

Besides equipment, "they also had highly toxic and environmentally harmful products that were used in the mining process.

"Mining and illegal deforestation are the main threats to the park's survival, as they directly affect the rivers" that cross that protected area.

The sentence for the 42 garimpeiros was handed down on Tuesday, June 29, by the Gorongosa District Judicial Court.

It was also decided by the court that all the material that was seized reverts to the state for the conservation area.

Gorongosa National Park is today one of Mozambique's main conservation areas, with a wide variety of wildlife.

It is located in Sofala province, at the southern end of the East African Rift Valley, with an area of about 4,000 square kilometers.

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