There are many places in the world where it is very difficult to live and survive. But even in such places human beings are living and feeding their stomachs. One such mining settlement is situated at an altitude of 16,000 feet on the mountain. It is considered the most remote city in the world where most people die while working. Nestled in the Andes mountain range of Peru, the city is named La Rinconada, home to some 50,000 people whose average age is reportedly now only 30 to 35 years.
Painful death occurs in the ‘heaven of demons’
People in this city live in the freezing cold of blood among the garbage and filth. The main source of drinking water here has been contaminated with poisonous mercury which is used to purify gold. The entire area is called ‘Devil’s Paradise’, where the local residents are suffering from lung diseases and respiratory infections. This has a profound effect on their nervous system leading to hallucinations, paralysis, disability and ultimately death.
The dark world of crime in the field of gold
The root of all troubles is a precious metal – gold. Residents of La Rinconada and others claim that the region produces abundant gold. As reported by The Sun, a local said, ‘Things are not as they used to be that’s why so many bad things are happening.’ The crime in the area is also higher as compared to other places. Miners are shot in the tunnels, young women are pushed into brothels, and fighting and fighting are common in the area. Miners threaten them with a dynamite explosion when police or other officials come into the city to try to ban mining or to report a crime.
Poisonous mercury reaching the ponds
Women are also involved in this protest, some of whom say that men force them. Eva Chura, a woman extracting gold from the mine, says that now there is less gold left in the mountain. Men drink a lot here. They spend much of their time working in taverns. Both men and women use mercury to extract gold from rocks. They wash it with glacier-laden ice whose water flows down the mountain into ponds, puddles and rivers.
People drinking water from ‘world’s most dangerous lake’
This heavy metal water flows directly into Lake Titicaca, the largest lake in South America and an important source of drinking water and fish for the local population. In 2012, a German non-profit, the Global Nature Fund, named it the ‘world’s most dangerous lake’. According to the report, Eva had come to La Rinconada from her hometown of Chupa from the Puno area 12 years ago. It took them an hour to reach the mine where the women worked. She says that sometimes she used to get gold and sometimes she would return empty handed. Sometimes in a week I used to get one or two grams of gold.
‘Life is difficult but better than picking gold’
Every woman gets only a small amount of gold but thousands of women are still searching for gold. Some estimates say that there are over 15,000 ‘gold pickers’ in Peru. He said that no one picks up garbage in this city. All equally risk their lives to live among the dirt in the cold air. Eva says life is difficult but better than picking gold.