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Season 12, Episode 23 of 99

A vast section of the Peruvian Amazon has been turned into a man-made desert. There is an environmental catastrophe taking place in the heart of the Peruvian Amazon, where a man-made desert now exists. Thousands of acres were once pristine rainforest, but a decade of illegal gold mining has transformed them into a wasteland. Peru is the seventh-largest gold producer in the world, and illegal miners have flocked to an area along Peru's border with Brazil, where they have clear-cut vast sections of trees and infused the ground with mercury. But at least some of those miners are now on the run after the Peruvian government recently declared a state of emergency for the region and sent in hundreds of troops. Special correspondent Leo Schwartz reports on the first of a two-part series.

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