This story excerpt was translated from Spanish. To read the original story in full, visit El Diario. You may also view the original story on the Rainforest Journalism Fund website here. Our website is available in English, Spanish, bahasa Indonesia, French, and Portuguese.
The Amazon in the Shadow of the Pandemic is a four-episode podcast report that explains the environmental risks of illegal mining and brings together stories of people affected by diseases that are still present in times of the coronavirus.
Julio, like other men from the state of Amazonas, Venezuela, sees mining as a salvation for their economic deficiencies. Pushed to bring sustenance to his home, he set out on a journey to the mines of Yapacana National Park as a food provider.
But he had not even spent a month in the Maraya mine, where he arrived, when malaria took hold of him and prevented him from achieving his goal of raising enough money to meet his problems. He had to spend the few grams of gold he had gathered to buy medical treatment and had to hurry his return.
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Malaria, amoebiasis, dengue fever and skin fungus are pathologies that continue in the Amazon jungle and have been overshadowed by the pandemic.