Cleber da Silva Costa, the miner who brought the bounty, said he knew what he and his fellow miners were doing was illegal and harmful to the environment. Yet he argued that his crime was merely a symptom of more egregious wrong.
“If you didn’t have so many corrupt people in Congress, you might be able to consider preserving the environment,” he said.
Mr. da Silva, 47, a miner with three children, said the camp was doing more to preserve than destroy indigenous communities.
“The little they have today is from miners,” he said. “The government doesn’t help. All the money gets stolen. We may be in the wrong. But out here, it’s the law of survival.”