Eight gold miners arrested for illegal mining inside Corcovado National Park, on Costa Rica’s Osa Peninsula, were sentenced to three years probation and 90 hours of community service at the Golfo Dulce Forest Reserve, the regional office of the National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC) reported on Tuesday.
The men were arrested in February and March, and a court in Golfito prohibited them from entering the protected area and performing any mining for a period of three years.
They also must attend six workshops on environmental education, the ecological importance of Corcovado National Park for Costa Rica and the environmental consequences of gold mining in the protected area, located in the country’s southern Pacific region.
If the miners violate the probation terms, they will be prosecuted under the country’s Mining Law and could face prison sentences and fines for environmental damage.
“This sentence sends a clear message to all those who illegally enter Corcovado National Park to mine gold: There will be no impunity,” said Etilma Morales, regional director of the Osa Conservation Area, which manages the park.
In June, a Golfito court sentenced four other gold miners to three months in prison for extracting gold inside the park.