BNC Text HE4

Assignment - the legacy of the Brazilian gold rush: documentary. Sample containing about 4054 words speech recorded in leisure context

6 speakers recorded by respondent number C353

PS2S7 Ag3 m (julian pettifer, age 40+, tv presenter, Almost all his speech is scripted.) unspecified
PS2S8 Ag5 m (Rubens, age 60+, brazilian minister for the environment, First language is Brazilian Portuguese) unspecified
PS2S9 X m (No name, age unknown, scientist, First language is probably Brazilian Portuguese) unspecified
PS2SA X m (Roberto, age unknown, First language is Brazilian Portuguese) unspecified
HE4PSUNK (respondent W0000) X u (Unknown speaker, age unknown) other
HE4PSUGP (respondent W000M) X u (Group of unknown speakers, age unknown) other

1 recordings

  1. Tape 102401 recorded on 1993-10-19. LocationLondon: Bbc2 ( Television broadcast ) Activity: Documentary Narration and interviews

Undivided text

julian pettifer (PS2S7) [1] [theme music. engine noise] In the past decade Amazonia has experienced one of the biggest gold rushes it's ever seen.
[2] Fortune seekers, up to a million of them, have inflicted terrible damage upon the environment, on public health and law and order.
[3] Now another threat demonstrates just how frightening is the real price of gold.
[4] [music] What is gold?
[5] An empty bubble.
[6] Bewitching, transient shining trouble.
[7] [music] This is Cripo Rison a frontier town that serves numerous gold workings or Garrimpos The itinerant gold diggers that flock here are called Garrimperos When they visit town, Garrimperos come to sell their gold, in the numerous gold dealers' shops that line the single street.
[8] [car noise] With the proceeds of the gold they buy provisions, heading toward numerous pharmacies for drugs to combat diseases, notably malaria, that afflict them all.
[9] And they come to buy mining equipment, pumps and pies and engines to extract gold bearing gravel form the rivers and streams.
[10] Also on the shopping list are sex, booze and gambling.
[11] So bars and brothels are plentiful.
[12] Even those that live in Cripo Rison find little to commend the place.
Unknown speaker (HE4PSUNK) [...] [portuguese speech]
julian pettifer (PS2S7) [13] Cripo Rison is a filthy, violent and inaccessible place on the banks of a polluted river.
[14] It has no hospital, no doctor, and save for the police, no government presence of any kind.
[15] It's a place you'd be happy to leave, unless you're a Garrimpero who must head back to work.
Unknown speaker (HE4PSUNK) [...]
julian pettifer (PS2S7) [16] Some of the human wreckage from the Garrimpos washes up at the hospital at Itti Tuba Hundreds line up daily for malaria tests.
[17] Children are often born with the disease.
[18] It's no coincidence that malaria took hold as the gold rush intensified.
[19] Conditions in the Garrimpos made it inevitable.
[20] Here blood tests will confirm the type of the infection and determine the treatment. ...
Unknown speaker (HE4PSUNK) [...] [speaking portuguese]
julian pettifer (PS2S7) [21] Dr is the local malaria specialist.
[22] On his hospital rounds he routinely treats Garrimperos in the terminal stages of the disease.
[23] This patient has been infected more than twenty times.
Unknown speaker (HE4PSUNK) [...] [portuguese speech]
julian pettifer (PS2S7) [24] Nearby is a man who paid the price of gold with a bullet in the back, A victim of Garrimpero gun law.
Unknown speaker (HE4PSUNK) [...] [portuguese speech]
julian pettifer (PS2S7) [25] As well as victims of violence, many suffer from venereal diseases.
Unknown speaker (HE4PSUNK) [...] [portuguese speech] ...
julian pettifer (PS2S7) [26] It's hard to believe but this river, the Cristolino is part of the same Tappajoss river system where Garrimperos have caused such devastation.
[27] Cristolino by name, the river is still crystalline by nature.
[28] Why?
[29] It's protected by nature reserves on both banks.
[30] ... This is Amazonia as it used to be, before the coming of the settlers and the seekers after gold.
[31] ... Appearances are deceptive.
[32] Even the Cristolino river is polluted, and by something far more dangerous than mud.
[33] The fish that swim here carry in their flesh a poison that can make you very ill.
[34] And if consume enough of it, will kill you.
[35] That poison is mercury.
[36] Messenger of the gods, quicksilver, stuff that fascinates the child in all of us.
[37] And yet, with the exception of lead, this poisons more people every year than any other heavy metal.
[38] And it's now found in disturbingly high quantities, not only in the fish, but in the air and the soil and the water throughout the Tappajoss river system.
[39] And where does it come from?
[40] From the Garrimpos Just a few miles down stream, the silvery waters of the Cristolino flow into the Tellisperos river, and vanish, stained by it's burden of silt.
[41] Once this murky torrent was crystalline too.
[42] But with the coming of the Garrimpos it's grown steadily filthier and more toxic, contaminated by things visible and invisible.
[43] Oil and detergent, as well as mud and mercury.
[44] [music] And it's the same story in many other rivers throughout the Amazon basin.
[45] A vast area that drains one third of South America and covers half the land surface of Brazil.
[46] Up to twenty five percent of all water that drains off the Earth, is carried by the Amazon.
[47] And now, sadly, much of that global resource is contaminated by mercury.
[48] Worse affected by the gold rush than most rivers is the Tappajoss and it's tributaries.
[49] More gold has been produce here in this present gold rush than in any other part of Brazil.
[50] [car noise] It's Garrimpos like this that are doing the damage.
[51] Polluting the river with mud and mercury.
[52] This is one among thousands of similar rafts, or balsas, that employ divers.
[53] ... Working on the river bed with a hose attached to a powerful pump, the diver hoovers up gold- bearing alluvium.
[54] This is pumped onto the raft to be processed.
[55] The alluvium passes down a sluice where particles of gold, because they're heavier, are retained behind wooden ripples, and up on the carpet that lines the sluice.
[56] When the time comes to recover the gold, the ripples are removed and the carpet is shaken.
[57] It's at this stage that mercury comes into the picture.
[58] It's unique property is to bind with gold, however small the particles, to form an amalgam that's easy to collect.
[59] ... Mercury will be mixed with the sludge to separate the gold.
[60] Inevitably, some of it escapes into the river.
[61] As a trip down this tributary shows, this is a huge industry.
[62] It employs at least a quarter of a million people, in operations large and small.
[63] Few will ever get rich, but between them they've produced, in recent years, nearly five hundred tonnes of gold in the Tappajoss region alone.
[64] And for every tonne of gold at least twice as much mercury has thought to have been lost into the environment.
[65] ... Everyone uses mercury and some use it in much larger quantities than others.
[66] ... Mercury that is not amalgamated with gold, slides easily from them pan, while mercury mixed with gold leaves more reluctantly. ...
Unknown speaker (HE4PSUNK) [...] [speaking portuguese]
julian pettifer (PS2S7) [67] After excess mercury has been run off, the residue is strained through a fine cloth.
[68] ... This expels any further free mercury.
[69] ... What's left is the gold that the days work has yielded with an equal mass of mercury.
[70] Finally the mercury is burned off using a butane torch.
[71] ... This job could be done simply and safely using a retort to condense the mercury.
[72] But that never happens.
[73] As the temperature rises the mercury is driven off as a toxic white gas.
[74] has absorbs dangerous amounts of it.
[75] Tests show he's carrying ten times the acceptable level of mercury.
[76] But then he's been burning gold every few days for ten years.
Unknown speaker (HE4PSUNK) [...] [portuguese speech]
julian pettifer (PS2S7) [77] In gold shops they also burn off mercury on a huge scale.
[78] The law says dealers should recover ninety six percent floats away to be breathed by all and sundry.
[79] No one seems to worry.
[80] They've come to sell gold and it's the money they're after.
[81] Money that will be used in part to buy more mercury, that's supposed to be a controlled substance.
[82] According to Brazilian law the responsibility for controlling the sale and the use of mercury lies with the national institute for the environment, IBAMA and in theory these controls are very strict, all importers and dealers are supposed to be registered, and the use of mercury in any process and in whatever quantity, how ever small, requires an official permit.
[83] What's more the law specifically forbids the use of mercury in Garrimpos unless they're licensed.
[84] Here in Cripo Rison you can buy as much mercury as you like and no questions are asked.
[85] I've just bought this little flask, I have no permit, and nobody asked for one.
[86] It says here the mercury's for dental purposes, but I don't think there's much doubt what it's actually for.
[87] This was once a gold shop.
[88] Mercury vapour form gold burning below, wafted into the flat above, and this is what happened to it's occupant.
[89] ... The mercury caused Manuel sever neurological damage.
[90] By the time the cause was discovered, and his condition was diagnosed, it was too late.
[91] The received no compensation, and all the expensive medical treatment they've had to pay for themselves.
Unknown speaker (HE4PSUNK) [...] [portuguese speech]
julian pettifer (PS2S7) [92] Is your father now completely dependent on you to nurse him and look after him?
Unknown speaker (HE4PSUNK) [...] [portuguese speech]
julian pettifer (PS2S7) [93] This woman works at a Garrimpo and has also been exposed to mercury vapour.
[94] She's worried that she may be in the early stages of mercury poisoning.
[95] She's brought her worries to Dr , who's seeing more and more patients with similar symptoms.
Unknown speaker (HE4PSUNK) [...] [portuguese speech] ...
julian pettifer (PS2S7) [96] The destruction of Amazonian forest is all too familiar a story.
[97] But it's connection with the gold rush should not be overlooked.
[98] It's the search for gold that opens up virgin land with roads and airstrips, and then other settlers follow.
[99] This is the result, and it seems there's another connection.
[100] Here around Alto Foresta in recent years, hundreds of thousands of acres of virgin forest have been burned and continue to be burned to provide pasture for cattle.
[101] On some days the smoke is so thick here that it obscures the sun.
[102] To find out what effect all this burning may be having on the upper atmosphere, particularly upon global warming, the Brazilian space institute, in collaboration with NASA from the United States, has been carrying out a research programme.
[103] One possibility that's emerged from that research, is that mercury vapour from gold burning may be combining with the ash and the other products of combustion the forest, to produce an even more toxic ingredient in a lethal brew.
[104] [music] On a satellite photograph of an area near Alto Foresta ranching and gold mining show up as pink scars on the green of the forest.
[105] The large clearing is one hundred and fifty square miles.
[106] [music] Sandra is one of a team of scientists trying to find out how mercury levels in the air are influenced by weather and other factors.
[107] The team will investigate the human consequences of the mercury pollution.
[108] ... This work is of special importance for pregnant women who risk fetal damage from mercury.
Unknown speaker (HE4PSUNK) [...] [speaking portuguese]
julian pettifer (PS2S7) [109] Results so far signal danger ahead.
[110] Here mercury levels are one thousand times greater than one would expect in such a remote area.
[111] ... Although the inhalation of mercury vapour and dust is an obvious hazard, there is another danger that's potentially more long lasting and insidious.
[112] Much of the mercury that escapes in to the soil and the air and in to the water, finishes up here in the rivers, and there it reacts with naturally occurring compounds to form a compound called methyl mercury which is far more dangerous to man than is mercury itself.
[113] This methyl mercury is absorbed by small organisms in the water which are eaten by fish which are eaten by larger fish, and all the time the poison is being concentrated as it moves up the food chain.
[114] In some of the larger and older predator fish concentrations of methyl mercury can be very high need, and of course these are precisely the fish that are most sort after by the fishermen and by their customers.
[115] Now if this contaminated fish is eaten in large enough quantities it can cause symptoms of Minimata disease.
[116] [music] The disease is named after a terrible industrial accident that occurred at this chemical factory at Minimata in southern Japan.
[117] Methyl mercury was accidentally discharged into the sea and as a result the nearby fishing communities suffered terrible consequences. [music]
Unknown speaker (HE4PSUNK) [crying]
julian pettifer (PS2S7) [118] This child's name is Tomo .
[119] Tomo means wisdom.
[120] Her mother showed no signs of mercury poisoning at all.
[121] Yet this is how Tomo was born.
[122] The result of eating contaminated fish.
[123] Many children were born with Minimata disease but more than one hundred adults died while thousands were severely disabled.
[124] [noise - traffic] Although the situation in Amazonia is different there are worrying similarities.
[125] Here too fish and shellfish are eaten in large quantities.
[126] [market place noises] Here too fish in certain areas are found to contain high concentrations of mercury.
[127] In Minimata mercury poisoning was diagnosed first in cats.
[128] Here mercury levels in pigs near Garrimpos are disturbingly high.
[129] Despite all these danger signals evidence of mercury contamination of people is very limited.
[130] Work has been done on contamination of fish and water and air, but little has been done to study it's effect on the human population.
[131] In the Amazon research is hampered by the sheer size of the region and by the reluctance of scientists to work here.
[132] [children screaming] But one individual researcher has not been deterred.
[133] ... From his base in Santarem Dr Fernando travels to a number of riverside communities.
[134] Today it's the turn of Brazilia Laygal a large village on the banks of the Tappajoss river.
[135] Dr is a cardiologist who in the course of his work encountered cases of mercury poisoning.
[136] Some came from fishing villages, so he began a clinical study concentrating on fishermen and their families.
Unknown speaker (HE4PSUNK) [...] [portuguese speech]
julian pettifer (PS2S7) [137] These tests are designed to detect early signs of neurological damage.
Unknown speaker (HE4PSUNK) [laugh]
Unknown speaker (HE4PSUNK) [...] [speaking portuguese]
julian pettifer (PS2S7) [138] The fisherman has high levels of mercury because he catches and eats large fish that lie in undisturbed pools and lagoons where methyl mercury settles, but so far he has no conclusive symptoms.
Unknown speaker (HE4PSUNK) [...] [portuguese speech]
julian pettifer (PS2S7) [139] In this tranquil and untroubled spot, they've heard the warnings of Dr about mercury but still feel powerless to combat such a mysterious threat.
Unknown speaker (HE4PSUNK) [...] [portuguese speech]
julian pettifer (PS2S7) [140] If if it seemed advisable not to eat the fish, would that be a big problem for the [...] ?
Unknown speaker (HE4PSUNK) [...] [portuguese speech] [happy children]
julian pettifer (PS2S7) [141] Dr comes bearing small gifts for the children.
Unknown speaker (HE4PSUNK) [...] [speaking portuguese] ...
julian pettifer (PS2S7) [142] In return for his balloons, he will ask the children for a lock of hair.
[143] Methyl mercury shows up in hair, and by taking samples at regular intervals he can keep track of it's level and how they relate to clinical symptoms when and if they appear.
[144] ... Hair samples collected by Dr are sent to the institute of biophysics at the Federal University at Rio de Janeiro.
[145] ... Here they are freeze dried, treated with chemicals and then analyzed.
[146] ... The hair frequently shows methyl mercury contamination well above safe limits.
[147] These findings were confirmed by a joint British-Brazilian scientific team.
[148] They ran blood tests on fisherman and came up with equally alarming results.
[149] Bad news for the eight hundred thousand people living in the Tappajoss river region.
Rubens (PS2S8) [150] In some areas we have measured a contamination which is much bigger than in the Minimata incident in the Japan.
[151] Er the only reason for the fact that we we didn't have a tragedy is that the population in the in those areas is very sparse.
[152] But it's true, we recognize the problem and we are serious trying to avoid it. [music and song]
julian pettifer (PS2S7) [153] This protest song suggests that some at least are aware of the mercury menace and the plight of the rivers and are calling for action. [drums]
Unknown speaker (HE4PSUNK) [...] [portuguese speech]
julian pettifer (PS2S7) [154] The price of gold.
[155] This piece of street theatre is performed in Sanatrem by members of the Amazon defence group, warning of the dangers of mercury poison through eating contaminated fish.
Unknown speaker (HE4PSUNK) [...] [portuguese speech]
julian pettifer (PS2S7) [156] The aim of the drama is to do what government is failing to do.
[157] Tell the people of the Tappajoss the truth about gold.
[158] That it's ruining their river and that mercury could wreck their lives.
Unknown speaker (HE4PSUNK) [...] [portuguese speech]
julian pettifer (PS2S7) [159] The play is a curiously light hearted account of a fisherman who eats contaminated fish and dies.
Unknown speaker (HE4PSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (HE4PSUNK) [...] [speaking portuguese]
Unknown speaker (HE4PSUNK) [...] [portuguese speech]
julian pettifer (PS2S7) [160] At Rio's federal university, scientists says that even if the use of mercury ceased, the danger remain.
(PS2S9) [161] It would persist for many generations.
[162] We've done research in other places and there's mercury from a hundred a hundred and fifty years back.
[163] But st it sticks around.
julian pettifer (PS2S7) [164] So to call this a chemical time bomb is not unduly alarmist?
(PS2S9) [165] No it's not. [bell ring]
julian pettifer (PS2S7) [166] It's a time bomb that's been ticking for centuries and the fuse has always been gold.
[167] This is Auro Preto which means black gold.
[168] Built three hundred years ago on the profits of the first gold rush.
[169] But those who dug the gold never lived in these fine houses for they were African slaves.
[170] They payed for all this with their sweat and their lives, just like the Garrimperos today.
[171] [gunfire, celebration] The Portuguese came to Brazil to win souls for Christ and to win gold for the king.
[172] In both they succeeded, but at a terrible human cost.
[173] [band] The ancestors of those who now process with marching bands, once crouched in rows panning the streams under the eye of armed guards.
[174] [band music] Much of the gold dug by the slaves went back to Portugal.
[175] Enough remained to build magnificent baroque churches.
[176] In this one church hundreds of kilos of gold were used to glorify God.
[177] But perhaps more fittingly it might commemorate the slaves that died to win it form the Earth.
[178] This church, Santa Ephygenia was where the African slaves came to worship, to pray to the saint to protect them from the dreadful accidents they faced in the mines.
[179] As with the Garrimperos today, so great were the physical dangers of extracting gold, that the risk posed by mercury poisoning must have seemed derisory.
[180] Oh yes.
[181] They used mercury in those days too.
[182] And evidence is coming to light that present generations may still be suffering the consequences.
[183] In the old gold mining regions of Min Sherice and Gojas scientists are finding an unusually high incidence of mental retardation, and other congenital conditions, and the finger of suspicion is pointed at methyl mercury that's accumulated in the soil and in the ground water.
[184] If it can happen in the old gold mining regions, it can happen in the Amazon too.
[185] It's another piece of evidence suggesting a long term buildup towards a serious mercury crisis.
[186] [car noise] For a mercury crisis is not an immediate or indeed a long term worry.
[187] In Amazonia he's what is called in the Garrimpo world, a donno The owner of the gold digging area and it's machinery.
[188] But here on the Rato river, is more than a Donno he's a king, or at least he acts like one.
Unknown speaker (HE4PSUNK) [...] [portuguese speech]
julian pettifer (PS2S7) [189] Not just king but an absolute monarch.
[190] Mr started in a small way, but now two hundred and fifty Garrimperos work under him.
[191] [machinery noise] In the local government he's the secretary responsible for mining, and for the environment.
[192] ... As surveys his operations, is it with the eye of the secretary for mining?
[193] Or the secretary for the environment?
[194] One wonders.
[195] ... He also uses mercury in large quantities, and as secretary for the environment, one might have expected him to seek less damaging alternatives.
Unknown speaker (HE4PSUNK) [...] [portuguese speech]
Rubens (PS2S8) [196] We haven't been trying hard to persuade the Garrimperos to adopt different technologies, more modern technologies that would avoid the contamination of the mercury, but as I said I believe the only way of reaching this goal is if we can organize the Garrimperos to have er a kind of er institutionalized way of exploiting gold, not the sort of [...] gold rush i that is being on and on On and off in Brazil for two centuries right now.
julian pettifer (PS2S7) [197] This cheap and simple piece of technology could transform the mercury vapour problem.
Roberto (PS2SA) [198] This is the part of the retort, we have water in here.
julian pettifer (PS2S7) [199] The mercury gold amalgam is burned in a closed retort rather than in the open air.
[200] How efficient is this, Roberto?
Roberto (PS2SA) [201] Ah well it'll recover about ninety five percent of the mercury.
[202] Ah th the problems that the mercury causes are not erm easily seen Immediately seen.
[203] So you have to show them that is very important, not because of the mercury recovery but because of their health.
julian pettifer (PS2S7) [204] Yeah.
[205] The retort is not only safer, it saves money.
[206] Recovering the mercury for reuse.
[207] Why is something so obviously superior not being used?
(PS2S9) [208] We have to work with the garrimperos we have to try and convince 'em.
[209] As er as you can imagine, it's a very difficult task, nobody wants to go up in the region, it has malaria, it's dangerous, it's it Transportation is difficult.
[210] But we have to manage to find out how these people think, how we can convince them Even to protect themselves, one of the things we'd like to show is look, using this mercury, you're killing yourself.
[211] But this takes a long time and a lot of convincing.
julian pettifer (PS2S7) [212] Could , local secretary for the environment, be convinced/ If the right equipment was readily available, would he encourage it's use throughout his kingdom.
[213] Because if he wanted it done, it would be done. [machinery noise]
Unknown speaker (HE4PSUNK) [...] [portuguese speech]
Unknown speaker (HE4PSUNK) [...]
julian pettifer (PS2S7) [214] The trouble is the culture of the Garrimpero is a macho culture, of gambling and drinking and whoring, and hazardous work, where mercury is the very least of his concerns.
[215] He's more likely to die in a bar brawl.
[216] ... And why should the Garrimpero heed the advice of the authorities when the authorities ignore him.
Unknown speaker (HE4PSUNK) [...] [portuguese speech]
Rubens (PS2S8) [217] It is at the bottom a social problem.
[218] It is the failure of Brazilian society to provide those people with jobs, with a decent living, which er has led the Garrimperos to this activity.
[219] And the problem is, although they are er very negative for the environment, they destroy rivers, they effect the navigation, they are quite popular with the population, with the peasants, with the indians, because they bring money, they bring activities, they bring weapons, they bring all sorts of things that break the isolation of those populations that live along the rivers or er in the middle of the forest. [plane overhead]
julian pettifer (PS2S7) [220] Nothing has broken the isolation more than the light aircraft.
[221] It's these little planes that make this gold rush possible.
[222] And it's the people who own them and fly them, and those who supply the Garrimpos with food and fuel and medicines who make the real money.
[223] They've grown fat on gold, not the Garrimperos ... They're a strong political lobby and would never allow business to close down over the little matter of mercury.
Unknown speaker (HE4PSUNK) [...] [portuguese speech]
julian pettifer (PS2S7) [224] But they can't ignore them all the time.
[225] Elsewhere in Amazonia, a thousand miles from the Tappajoss federal police recently responded to the murder, by Garrimperos of seventeen Yanamami Indians.
Unknown speaker (HE4PSUNK) [...]
julian pettifer (PS2S7) [226] In a fierce crackdown they destroyed gold dredges operating within forest reserves.
[227] But the suspicion is that this was little more than a public relations exercise.
[228] Garrimperos put out of business here, are likely to reappear elsewhere in the vastness of Amazonia.
[229] ... Indeed in the Tappajoss there has been a sudden increase in the number of big dredgers.
[230] Although the number of Garrimperos has declined, the scale of their operation has increased.
[231] And as the large machines move in the destruction grows.
[232] So does the consumption of mercury.
[233] And those that operate the dredgers are quite indifferent.
Unknown speaker (HE4PSUNK) [...] [portuguese speech]
julian pettifer (PS2S7) [234] He and his kind are unlikely to be deterred by exultation.
[235] More dredgers are under construction and this activity will continue and intensify.
[236] It's one of number of worrying developments. ...
Unknown speaker (HE4PSUNK) [...] [speaking portuguese]
julian pettifer (PS2S7) [237] Garrimperos are now beginning to sink shafts to mine primary gold.
[238] These youngsters work seventy metres below ground in appalling conditions.
[239] One of their team was killed by explosives the week before our visit.
[240] Deep mining also produces environmental damage.
[241] Developments like this mean that even if alluvial gold gives out or becomes less profitable, the uncontrolled search for wealth will continue and accelerate.
[242] And although the technology is different, it still involves the use of mercury.
[243] Large amounts of mercury are mixed with the crushed gold bearing rock, and are agitated in a concrete mixture.
[244] Yet another source of pollution adding to the risk.
[245] ... One remedy that's being proposed calls for drastic action now.
Unknown speaker (HE4PSUNK) [...] [portuguese speech]
julian pettifer (PS2S7) [246] A distinguished economist er suggested to me, the only way to deal with this Garrimpo problem is to close them down.
[247] Now is that a politically possible solution do you think?
Rubens (PS2S8) [248] No it's not realistic because you know that there are thousands of people involved with the in the Garrimpos and er there is no way you could er shut them down without offering them an alternative.
[249] In a country like ours where half of the territory er is still in the frontier situation, er there is an enormous difficulty in enforcing some laws.
[250] It's not the same situation as you are used to in Europe. [car noise]
julian pettifer (PS2S7) [251] While the politicians seem impotent and indecisive, riverside communities continue to live under the shadow of the mercury threat.
[252] Some would like to forget it but it won't go away.
Unknown speaker (HE4PSUNK) [...] [portuguese speech] ...
julian pettifer (PS2S7) [253] In the final stages of the journey from river mud to glittering metal, gold is treated to remove the last stages of Garrimpo mercury, then it becomes pure, but not innocent.
[254] In Brazil gold is guilty of crimes against the environment and against humanity.
[255] And the criminal record goes back for centuries.
[256] Whether the new charge of conspiracy to poison the people will be proved, is still unclear, but the evidence cannot be ignored, and unless decisive steps are taken it could be too late. [theme music to end of recording]