BRAZIL: Gold Fever

On the beds of Amazon River tributaries in remotest Amapá territory, the glitter of gold has set off periodic rushes since 1893. Early in June a ragged, unshaven prospector stomped into a river village with word of the latest strike. To pay for medicine, food and tools, he had a poke of alluvial nuggets, which he had found in a branch of the Jari River.

Almost 5,000 gold seekers soon converged on the site. From the territorial capital, Macapa, they rode 200 miles up the Amazon in motor launches, another 170 miles up the Jari, paying $75 to travel...

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