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GOLD-PERU/SWISS-WOMEN
RTS34YSY
March 06, 2020
Eva Chura is one of the magpies of the mountain. Living with their families in shacks in a gold shantytown...
LA RINCONADA, Peru
The Wider Image: Meet the women who scavenge for gold at the top of the world
Eva Chura is one of the magpies of the mountain. Living with their families in shacks in a gold shantytown in the Andes, these women make a living gleaning gold from rubble. They are called "pallaqueras" which roughly translates as 'gold-pickers.' The men of La Rinconada bar all women from the mines dug beneath the rock. The men say the female spirit of the mine, which is located below a glacier called La Bella Durmiente, or The Sleeping Beauty, would be jealous and angry if women were to try to steal her riches. So instead, the women take turns to scramble up onto piles of black scree that the men have dumped. Teetering high above the ground, they stoop and flip over the rocks, their keen eyes scanning the lumps for a glimmer of gold. Anything promising they pocket, and take back to process and sell to black-market dealers whose stalls line La Rinconada's main street. The quantities each woman collects are tiny, but thousands of them are looking - some estimates say there are more than 15,000 pallaqueras in Peru. REUTERS/Nacho Doce SEARCH "WOMEN GOLD PICKERS FEMICIDE" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
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