Two investigations reveal criminal networks involved in the destruction of the Amazon forest. 25 miners were arrested last Wednesday in a military operation at the illegal mine in the Bolivian town of San Ramon, in Santa Cruz province, which borders on Brazil. The military operation, which involved about 1,000 Bolivian soldiers, was also mounted in the Amazon region of Beni and was aimed at neutralizing - the illegal exploitation of gold.

Previously, Brazilian officials busted for illegal logging Brazilian Police had cracked down on an other illegal logging operation in Mato Grosso state, arresting over 70 people. The operation included the concerted efforts of loggers, landowners, forest managers and environmental officials who were accused of providing false documentation to aid the loggers by certifying that illegally harvested timber came from approved sources. The arrests were the result of a two-year investigation in six Amazon states. Mato Grosso is the worst affected by illegal logging due to forest clearance for expanding soya farms. Those arrested face charges such as conspiracy, active and passive corruption, theft, illegal land appropriation, misrepresentation, false data entry in official computer systems and several other criminal offenses under Brazil's Law of Environmental Crimes.

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