Roberto Guerra July 6, 2011Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Peru.
Gold miner and Dredge, Madre de Dios, Peru 2010
Roberto Guerra (b. 1973, USA) is a photographer who focuses on humanitarian, environmental, and social issues around the world, with a focus on Latin America. He works regularly with indigenous and immigrant populations, as well as with progressive non-profit organizations working for human rights and the environment. His photo essays and images are published by the BBC, Orion Magazine, Virginia Quarterly Review, The Boston Globe Magazine, NPR Digital, OnEarth, and many others; and his work has been exhibited in the USA, Spain, Mexico, and Norway. In recent years, Bear has been a finalist for a National Magazine Award in Photojournalism (2010), and the recipient of funding from the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting and Project Word. A native of San Antonio, TX, he is currently based in Southern California.
About the Photograph:
“I made this image while on an assignment near Peru’s Southeastern border with Bolivia, where unregulated gold mining is spreading into the jungle at an alarming rate and leaving behind severe environmental consequences, including massive deforestation and mercury-contaminated waterways. With the price of gold at an all time high on the international market, as well as open-door trade policies and lax regulation by Peruvian president, Alan Garcia’s, administration, there has been an explosion of the extractive industries in Peru’s resource-rich Amazon basin in the last few years. It was very difficult to gain access to mining settlements deep in the jungle where I found widespread deforestation and gaping pits in what only months before was pristine jungle; and immigrants from the Andean highlands and Brazil wrecking the environment, their own bodies, and the health of their families in the hope of eking out a better living than they could at home.”