The invasion of drug cartels
in gold mines in the Amazon



and 12 airstrips were controlled by just one of the groups accused of involvement in drug trafficking in Itaituba (PA)



were laundered by the criminal group in four years, according to the Federal Police.There are suspicions that they used farms, cattle, mines, and airplanes



of gold have been exported from the Amazon in the last six years (much of it with suspicious origins)

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in the APA do Tapajós. The conservation unit was the most deforested in the Amazon in 2022

Gold and Cocaine in the Amazon

Fonte: MDIC e PF


are Booming

In the past six years, gold exports have doubled in the Legal Amazon, while cocaine seizures by the Federal Police have tripled

Art on photographs: Ibama/Divulgation, Christian Braga/ClimaInfo


Reproduction/Social Media

Drug trafficking and illegal gold mining share airplanes and pilots in the Amazon

Federal Police investigations reveal suspicious ties between drug traffickers, illegal miners, and businessmen involved in the so-called ‘narcogarimpos’, a model which uses gold mining to launder drug trafficking money.

Christian Braga/ClimaInfo

Reduced environmental enforcement fueled a vast network of crime in the Amazon

Cartels took advantage of the blind eye cast by the Jair Bolsonaro government in relation to illegal mining to invest in “narcogarimpos”. The model uses illegal mining to launder drug trafficking money and encourages other environmental crimes, such as illegal logging and land grabbing.

Paulo Lopes/Ibama

Suspected leader of the so called narcogarimpos extracted gold from environmental area without the permission of Brazilian regulation authority

A group headed by Heverton Soares, known as Grota, controls 43 gold mines in the Tapajós Environmental Protected Area, in the state of Pará, according to the police; the conservation unit had the highest rate of deforestation in 2022.

Federal Police/Divulgation

Mining companies traded gold with suspected narcogarimpeiros

Investigated by the Federal Police for his involvement in drug trafficking, Heverton Soares maintains gold mines in an Environmental Protected Area in Pará; at least two companies have removed him from their list of suppliers

Diego Junqueira
Carlos Juliano Barros

Diego Junqueira
Carlos Juliano Barros
Paula Bianchi
Ana Magalhães

Investigation and Reporting
Hyury Potter
Fábio Bispo

Social Media
Beatriz Vitória
Tamyres Matos

Design and Development
Cris Macari

Map Animation
Thiago Souza

Willer Carvalho
Gabriela Dias
Rodrigo Dias
Natália Camargo