Photo By Bram Ebus

Mercury is one of the driving forces behind small-scale gold mining in the Amazon. To extract gold sparks, liquid metal is considered essential. But mercury pollutes fragile ecosystems and harms human health.

One of the hidden doors to mercury entering Amazonia is the Guiana Shield region. The legal import of this toxic substance through Guyana makes it the link for smuggling to neighboring countries like Suriname, Venezuela and Brazil, where sale is prohibited.

In this investigation, we dive into the underworld of mercury, an obscure sector that few know, which is itself a multi-million dollar industry.

“MERCURY”, is a production of InfoAmazonia, a network of journalists who investigate the main environmental issues in the nine countries of the Amazon. The investigation was conducted in four countries for over one year. The work was done in partnership with journalists from Armando.Info in Venezuela and Fantástico (TV Globo) in Brazil.  Along with this special investigation, we will launch a documentary directed by Tom Laffay.

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The entire production is supported by the Rainforest Journalism Fund of the Pulitzer Center and IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) The Netherlands committee.

Parts of our investigation are published by Knack (Belgium), Stabroek News (Guyana), De Ware Tijd and (Suriname), in addition to stories by our partners in Brazil and Venezuela.

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