As Canadian mining companies seek to expand their presence in Central America, some locals worry that the mining could endanger their rainforest and water supply.

"The New Conquistadors," a documentary report produced through a collaboration between the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting and the CBC News, explores the battle between the Canadian companies and local communities in Panama.

The plan to unearth billions of dollars worth of precious metals is a boon for these communities, according to the companies, as they bring in jobs and stimulate economic development. But for the peasant farmers and indigenous people, the rewards aren't worth sacrificing the environment.

"The New Conquistadors" will air on CBC on June 18, 2012 on The National. A one-hour version will be featured on Tuesday June 19th on CBC-NN.


A battle is being waged in the rainforests of Panama – between those who want to keep their way of life, and those who want economic growth. At stake: billions worth of precious metals.


February 19, 2014 /
Ben Depp, Nadja Drost
Cross continents with eleven of our grantee journalists as they take you into the mines to show you where we get our gold––exposing the hidden social and environmental costs of this business.
February 6, 2014 / Untold Stories
Ben Depp, Nadja Drost
On Feb. 14, the Pulitzer Center releases its newest e-book on the environmental and human prices of gold mining. Whether this resource is produced in a way that is fair to all is very much up to us.