Environmental enforcement agents deep in the Amazon rainforest swooped down on an illegal mine in a dawn raid in early November, in a campaign to tamp down on such activities that environmental groups say have reached epidemic scale.
The operation was carried out against a handful of what are now known to be hundreds of illegal Amazon mines in Brazil that have been cataloged for the first time in a study released on Monday.
The project, coordinated by Brazilian advocacy group Instituto Socioambiental, maps all illegal mines in the Amazon rainforest that sprawls across Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia.
She said she hopes environmental agencies will use it as a tool to help police the mines. Ibama needs more resources if it is to break up the hundreds of mines, she added.
"The studies show that illegal mining is increasing a lot," Rolla said. "I think the government needs to be more worried about giving Ibama more resources to do their job."