Illegal gold mining is the most lucrative illicit activity in Peru, surpassing coca and cocaine production in recent years.  Illegal gold mining involves destructive processes that are devastating Peru’s Amazon communities, forests and waters supplies.  Over the last decade, Peru’s fast growing economy was fueled by high prices in the mining, oil, and gas sectors.  As gold prices climbed, illegal alluvial gold mining expanded into Madre de Dios, a region located in the heart of the Peruvian Amazon.  Over 60,000 hectares of land in Madre de Dios has been destroyed, and the health of communities living in the region is endangered due to the unregulated use of mercury.  Furthermore, the explosive growth of illegal mining has brought other criminal activities including child labor, human trafficking, violence and land grabbing.