October 7, 2019 / 12:31 PM / 10 days ago

Brazil launches operation to tackle illegal mining in Mato Grosso state

RIO DE JANEIRO, Oct 7 (Reuters) - Brazil’s federal police said on Monday it had launched an operation in the mid-west state of Mato Grosso to stop illegal mining, environmental crimes and a rise in violence.

“According to the investigations, in addition to the environmental impact in the region, illegal mining is having a major social impact on the municipality with increased homicide rates, drug trafficking, prostitution,” the federal police said in its statement.

More than 150 officers are involved in the operation, which is taking place in and around the municipality of Aripuanã, in the northwest of the state.

Officials from the environment ministry, and agents from the Brazilian Institute for the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources, or Ibama, are also involved, the police said. (Reporting by Pedro Fonseca; Editing by Catherine Evans)

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