On the men who got rich from South America’s illegal gold trade

1. Dirty Gold-Main Book
Dirty Gold
In March of 2017, a team of federal agents arrested Juan Pablo Granda, Samer Barrage, and Renato Rodriguez, or as they came to be known, “the three amigos”. اضافة اعلان

The trio — first identified publicly by the authors of this book — had built a $3.6 billion dollar business in metals trading, mostly illegal Peruvian gold that was mined in the rainforest.

 Their arrest and subsequent prosecution laid bare more than a scheme between a few corrupt traders. Dirty Gold lifts the veil on a massive and (very) illegal international business that is more lucrative than trafficking cocaine, and often just as dangerous.

 As this award-winning team of current and former Miami Herald reporters show, illegal gold mines have become a haven for Latin American drug money. The gold is sold to metals traders, and ultimately to scores of unwitting Americans in their jewelry and phones. By following the trail of these three traders, Dirty Gold leads us into a sprawling criminal underworld that has never before been in full view.


“Dirty Gold is a jaw-dropping true story of illegal gold mining that exposes its devastating ecological impact on developing nations in Latin America and a complex web of corruption and money laundering worth billions in the US. Gold is both recession-proof and easily melted down, leaving no trace of its lineage, and Dirty Gold offers a rare and exciting window into a criminal underworld that is the wild west of gold.” — Seira Wilson, Amazon Book Review

“An authoritative consideration of ‘dirty’ gold’s grip on the environment and role in rampant geopolitical corruption.”   Kirkus Reviews

“(An) engrossing account with a cast of picaresque characters ... (that) tells the full story of how unethically mined (‘artisanal’) gold makes it from shanty camps like La Pampa in southern Peru — a Stygian hellhole of brothels, child labor, and violence — through the global supply chain to become jewelry or part of the motherboard in your smartphone.”   The New York Times Book Review

“A fascinating story about one of the world’s biggest, and least talked about, illegal businesses. It reads like a thriller!”   Andres Oppenheimer, author of Saving the Americas and The Robots are Coming!

“An engaging narrative … a fascinating story peppered with colorful characters.”   Americas Quarterly

About the authors

Nicholas Nehamas is an investigative reporter at the Miami Herald. He was part of the global team of journalists that broke the Panama Papers and won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting. 

Kyra Gurney is a reporter at the Miami Herald, where she has worked since 2016 and where she helped report an award-winning Panama Papers story exposing ties between Argentine officials and a South Florida real estate empire.

Jay Weaver is an award-winning reporter at the Miami Herald who has covered the courts, government, and politics in South Florida for 25 years. He was a member of the Miami Herald team that won a Pulitzer Prize for breaking news in 2001 for its coverage of the federal seizure of Elian Gonzalez, who was saved on a raft at sea and swept up into an international custody battle between the US government and Cuban leader Fidel Castro.

Jim Wyss is a prize-winning journalist who has spent most of his career living and working in Latin America for outlets like the Economist, the San Francisco Chronicle, and Latin Trade. Since 2011, he has been the Miami Herald’s South America correspondent based in Bogota, Colombia. He was also part of the reporting team that won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Explanatory Reporting for their work on the Panama Papers.

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