'Lawless' highest city on earth only has three showers but boasts a nightclub

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'Lawless' highest city on earth only has three showers but boasts a nightclub

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The highest settlement in the world is seemingly a bleak and desperate enclave of people being worked to the bone in the hope of a short chance to try and find some gold of their own

A YouTuber has scared the living daylights out of himself after a trip to the highest city on earth where masked men patrol and people brawl in the streets,

Popular YouTube channel Yes Theory sent reporter Ammar Kandil to La Rinconada in the Peruvian Andes. They have dubbed the settlement, which sits at almost 17,000ft above sea level, “lawless”.

The gold-mining town is home to around 50,000 people who live and work under the cachorreo system, which sees them work for 30 days in exchange for the opportunity to try and find gold for one day themselves.

“We don’t know what we’re getting ourselves into,” Ammar said on the way up to the settlement.

As they climbed, he felt lightheaded and upon arrival were greeted by a “sea of trash” which is “what happens when 50,000 people settle somewhere they’re not supposed to without the infrastructure necessary for them to live there.”

He said it was the “saddest” arrival to a destination he had seen. One woman he spoke to said she had been working there for around four years. She barely looked up from trying to break up rocks.

“First impression for me,” Ammar said, “is that it’s way bigger than I thought." Some residences were more permanent-looking, while others were seemingly little more than corrugated sheets.

“La Rinconada is as close to a lawless town as it gets,” a voiceover on the footage says.

Soon they get chatting with some locals, one of whom says: “Here it’s more delinquents,” before Ammar adds, “Basically it’s just the outcasts of society, they just gravitate towards a place like this you know where there’s some pretty rough personalities."

The man explains that there are just three showers with hot water around the town, adding that high levels of mercury usage in the gold extraction process mean that the environmental costs are massive, leading to health impacts on the people who live there with neurological and reproductive damage.

Meanwhile, all of the water in the area has become undrinkable it is so polluted. One local claims that people die there almost every day, “In the discotheques too it is very dangerous because the delinquents come in and it’s not good here.”

Ammar noted that it was “estimated that around 2,500 women come up here from neighbouring towns for prostitution.”

As he walked around in the day, many of the men picked up on camera stalking the streets wore heavy-duty jackets, not dissimilar to what you might imagine a police officer or motorcyclist to don and many of them wore balaclavas.

They head to a nightclub, where the cameraman adds, “This is one of the sketchiest places I've ever been to… I don’t belong here and I should not be here right now.”

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