[QODLink]
Fault Lines
Colombia's gold rush
Gold fever is sweeping across South America and is at its most lethal in Colombia where it is fuelling the civil war.
Last Modified: 05 Jul 2011 08:29

Gold fever is sweeping across South America. Nowhere is it more lethal than in Colombia, where the gold rush has become a new axle in Colombia's civil war.

Turf wars are erupting between paramilitaries and leftist rebel groups who are fighting to take control of mining regions. It is fuelling an old ideological conflict that has displaced thousands of people.

FAULT LINES EXTRA
  Mining for gold in Colombia
  In pictures: Colombia

Helicopter raids by the Colombian army on small community mining collectives have become commonplace and the Colombian government is accused of targeting poor workers to protect big business interests and committing human rights violations with impunity.

Thousands have fled their homes where land is violently contested and others live in fear that they will be removed from their land, arrested or killed.

The multinationals are flooding in too. With gold now worth around $1,500 an ounce, everyone is getting in on the act, including North American mining companies. Colombia's pro-business mentality has seen arbitrary concessions by the state sold to multinational companies, often on indigenous land.

Fault Lines travelled to Colombia to speak to the people caught in the middle - the rural workers and artisan miners who have mined for generations, and some whose ancestors were enslaved during the first gold rush centuries ago. Others are former coca farmers, put out of work by the US-led Plan Colombia.

 

Click here for more Fault Lines.
Source:
Al Jazeera
Topics in this article
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Swathes of the British electorate continue to show discontent with all things European, including immigration.
Astronomers have captured images of primordial galaxies that helped light up the cosmos after the Big Bang.
Critics assail British photographer's portrayal of indigenous people, but he says he's highlighting their plight.
As Western stars re-release 1980s charity hit, many Africans say it's a demeaning relic that can do more harm than good.
Featured
At least 25,000 displaced people have gathered on the northern border, with more on the way trying to escape attacks.
Remnants of deadly demonstrations to be displayed in a new museum, a year after protests pushed president out of power.
No one convicted after 58 people gunned down in cold blood in 2009 in the country's worst political mass killing.
While hosting the World Internet Conference, China tries Tiananmen activist for leaking 'state secrets' to US website.
Once staunchly anti-immigrant, some observers say the conservative US state could lead the way in documenting migrants.