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In partnership with the Instituto Escolhas [Choices Institute], Senator Fabiano Contarato (Rede) forwarded to Congress a bill that discusses new mechanisms for monitoring and controlling commercial transactions that currently allow “gold laundering”, an operation that transforms illegally mined ore into apparently legal resources.

The proposal creates a public control system over the gold trade to reinforce the tracking of its origin and curb mining in forbidden areas, such as indigenous lands and Conservation Units. In a statement, Contarato lists the main points of the bill and reaffirms the importance of focusing on market surveillance. “The financial sector can help clean up the gold extraction sector in Brazil and prevent illegal metal from entering the market. Demanding certificates of legal origin and environmental compliance is a constitutional imperative and should be an ethical and moral commitment of the national financial sector,” he says.

Faced with the increased search for safer financial assets, such as gold, amid the financial crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Instituto Escolhas launched, in October last year, the campaign “Where does gold come from?” At the time, the NGO stressed that the ore boom in the international market has stimulated the advance of illegal mining in the Brazilian Amazon, a phenomenon widely denounced by NGOs and indigenous organizations over the past year.

Among them is the Indigenous Peoples of Brazil Network (Apib), which published in 2020 the survey “Complicity in the destruction – III”, about companies associated with the systematic devastation of indigenous territories. Last month, Apib received the resignation of the British mining company Anglo American, one of the companies cited in the document, to cease its activities on indigenous lands in the Amazon. The response was motivated by a petition created by the organization to pressure the company to withdraw applications for copper exploration in Munduruku territory.

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