[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
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Featured
Anti-government secrecy organisation struggling for relevance without Julian Assange at the helm.
After decades of overfishing, Japan is taking aim at increasing the number of bluefin tuna in the ocean.
Chinese scientists are designing a particle-smashing collider so massive it could encircle a city.
Critics say the government is going full-steam ahead on economic recovery at the expense of human rights.
Spirits are high in Scotland's 'Whisky Capital of the World' with one distillery thirsty for independence.
join our mailing list