Carnivorous fish are among the most consumed by the Munduruku and the most contaminated by mercury. Scientists suspect the toxic metal, found in the bodies of the members of this indigenous community is seriously affecting the health of adults and children who are born with malformations and developmental delays. Munduruku women already avoid getting pregnant.
Forty three percent of all mining requests on the indigenous lands in the Brazilian Amazon lands are for gold extraction, an InfoAmazonia data analysis reveals. In several of these targeted areas, satellite images show that there is gold mining already taking place without authorization.
Although living 186 miles away from the area along the Tapajós River where illegal mining is concentrated, Santarém’s inhabitants are at high risk of mercury poisoning.