HomeNewsBriefClash Over Illegal Mining Kills 9 in French Guiana
BRIEF

Clash Over Illegal Mining Kills 9 in French Guiana

ILLEGAL MINING / 25 JAN 2012 BY CHRISTOPHER LOOFT EN

A clash between two gangs over illegal gold mining has killed nine in French Guiana, in an example of the violence often associated with illicit mining in the overseas French department.

French Guianan Police say a total of nine have been killed and two wounded in an apparent clash over illegal gold mining. In response, French President Nicholas Sarkozy, who was visiting at the time of the incident, vowed to take harsher measures against illegal miners there.

According to Radio France Internationale, most illegal miners in French Guiana come from neighboring Brazil. At least one of the six found dead so far has been tentatively identified as a Brazilian citizen.

Police Commander Colonel Didier Laumont said that “This is a gang which possesses assault rifles, weapons of war,” reports AFP.

InSight Crime Analysis

Illegal gold mining appears to be on the rise across the region. In many cases, like in Bolivia, Ecuador, Venezuela, and Colombia, countries have deployed their armies to combat the phenomenon.

As the price of gold continues to rise, organized crime groups have taken notice of its potential for profit. InSight Crime has reported on the increasing importance of gold mining to the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), who have sought to diversify their sources of income due to pressure from authorities on drug trafficking.

The upwards trend in the price of gold ensures that illegal mining will become increasingly alluring to criminal groups, and violence is likely to result. An incident similar to that in French Guiana occurred less than a month ago in Venezuela, with groups apparently clashing over mining sites.

Compartir icon icon icon

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Related Content

ILLEGAL MINING / 15 JAN 2018

Two congressmen in Venezuela allege that members of the armed forces play a central role in the country's contraband…

COLOMBIA / 3 SEP 2014

Colombia is beginning to face up to the threat of illegal mining with a series of security measures, but to…

COLOMBIA / 25 MAR 2019

Colombia’s southern department of Nariño is home to an extortion scheme, where two of the country’s largest criminal organizations, the…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

We Have Updated Our Website

4 FEB 2021

Welcome to our new home page. We have revamped the site to create a better display and reader experience.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Events – Border Crime: The Northern Triangle and Tri-Border Area

ARGENTINA / 25 JAN 2021

Through several rounds of extensive field investigations, our researchers have analyzed and mapped out the main illicit economies and criminal groups present in 39 border departments spread across the six countries of study – the Northern Triangle trio of Guatemala, Honduras, and El…

BRIEF

InSight Crime’s ‘Memo Fantasma’ Investigation Wins Simón Bolívar National Journalism Prize

COLOMBIA / 20 NOV 2020

The staff at InSight Crime was awarded the prestigious Simón Bolívar national journalism prize in Colombia for its two-year investigation into the drug trafficker known as “Memo Fantasma,” which was…

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – From Uncovering Organized Crime to Finding What Works

COLOMBIA / 12 NOV 2020

This project began 10 years ago as an effort to address a problem: the lack of daily coverage, investigative stories and analysis of organized crime in the Americas. …

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – Ten Years of Investigating Organized Crime in the Americas

FEATURED / 2 NOV 2020

In early 2009, Steven Dudley was in Medellín, Colombia. His assignment: speak to a jailed paramilitary leader in the Itagui prison, just south of the city. Following his interview inside…