While Peru's gold mining industry is dangerous for several reasons, the use of mercury and the illegal black market are the most notable. The government must work to eradicate criminal gangs from operating lethal off-the-books operations and, for the legal mining business, ban the use of mercury to prevent poisoning the ground and people of the southern Peruvian region and its neighboring countries. This tragedy shows how inadequate mining safety is in Peru.
Representing 60% of its exports and growing exponentially each year, Peru's gold mining businesses create rich global investment and jobs for people throughout Latin America. As such, Peru is deeply committed to enhancing occupational health and safety with help from both the public and private sectors. Through training programs and focusing on value-based safety, tragedies in the mining industry can be mitigated as capacities are built over time.