Peru moves to shut down illegal gold miners in Amazon
Peru has sent the security forces to destroy river dredgers used by illegal gold miners in the country's south-eastern Amazon region of Madre de Dios.
Nearly 1,000 troops and police officers took part in the operation to destroy the miners' main tools.
Seven of the boats which suck up silt from the riverbed were sunk or burnt.
Officials say the mining produces up to 18 tons of gold a year and causes immense destruction to one of the most biodiverse places on earth.
The operation was an important first blow against illegal gold mining in Peru.
For every gram of gold, up to three times more mercury is used to extract it.
It is estimated that annually more than 40 tons of the toxic metal are absorbed into the air and rivers of Madre de Dios, poisoning the food chain.