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Have these men found a forgotten road to lost Spanish gold mines in Ecuador?

Section: Daily Dispatches

By Jim Wyss
Miami Herald
Thursday, February 6, 2020

Stefan Ansermet was deep in Ecuador's tangled southeastern jungles, a hard two-day hike from the nearest village, when he stumbled into a clearing. The change in vegetation was so subtle that everyone else on his team tromped straight through, unaware. But Ansermet was intrigued.

Over the next four days in mid-November, Ansermet, a geologist and explorer, kept returning to the remote area, finding clues that confirmed his suspicions: The narrow clearing stretched a mile and a half and had been carved into the side of the mountain at points. There was a large, chiseled stone embedded in the trail.

... Dispatch continues below ...


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"It took me a day to digest all the information and realize that this is not normal," Ansermet said from his home in Lausanne, Switzerland. "It goes perfectly north-south and has been engineered for sure. In some places it's absolutely straight for more than 100 meters. It's a wonderful masterpiece of road engineering."

But it's where this road in the middle of nowhere might lead that has Ansermet and his colleagues excited.

For more than two decades, Ansermet's boss, Keith Barron, has been searching for two Spanish conquest-era gold mines lost in Ecuador's forests.

The two mines, Logroño de los Caballeros and Sevilla de Oro, were established around 1562 and abandoned 40 years later after a smallpox epidemic killed the indigenous workforce and the Spaniards came under prolonged attack from local tribes. ...

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