Guyana's minister for natural resources says authorities have rounded up nearly 100 gold miners from Brazil who were working illegally in the country's rugged interior.
Robert Persaud says the miners were briefly detained as part of "Operation El Dorado," a government effort to exert control over what many consider a lawless region. Persaud says that most of the Brazilians were sent back to their country, but some who said they were awaiting work permits were allowed to stay.
An estimated 10 000 Brazilians are believed to be working illegally in southern Guyana near the country's borders with Brazil and Venezuela. Persaud said Tuesday that a delegation of Brazilian legislators is in Guyana to discuss ways to reduce the environmental damage and loss of tax revenue that result from illegal mining.