Costa Rica News – Crucitas has quickly become an environmental disaster. Neighbors fear that their drinking water is contaminated with mercury.
In addition to the contamination there is another problem. “Coligalleros” are arriving in great numbers for the gold rush. These are people who try to get small pieces of gold left in the giant holes made by large companies. 193 people were found there and 14 arrested on Wednesday.
Some left after a warning by police on Thursday but it is suspected they’ll return in a few days, as they live off this activity.
Local farmers send their laborers to get gold, too. The mine was administered with irregularities by a Canadian company so the concession was annulled and the place taken over by a group of Costa Rican entrepreneurs.
The estimate is that the zone actually has three times the amount of silver and gold that was originally believed to be there.
A group of students and professionals plans to keep at the work. They’ve been at it six weeks and have a goal of reaching about $9,000 each to finance studies and save. This is in an area with very few job opportunities.