A Colombian miner makes his first trip underground six weeks after a mining accident killed his brother and four others. Despite outcry from politicians, conditions in the mines have not improved.
Earth Island Institute
For some of the farmers and ranchers, just getting to the meeting in the capital of the state of Petén, Guatemala, was an ordeal. Scores of them were irritable from having traveled days – first over muddy foot trails, then by pickup truck and minibus on rutted, unpaved roads – to attend a workshop with park rangers. The residents had journeyed in the hope of slowing the government's plan to crack down on illegal land grabs, which for more than a decade had chipped away at the vast but vulnerable Maya Forest – and which were the basis of the farmers' livelihood.
I knew things were bad when Paulino dipped his empty plastic water bottle into a shallow, muddy swamp puddle. After attempting to sweeten the sludge with a bright orange vitamin C tablet, the middle-aged Guatemalan archaeologist smiled at his Boy Scout ingenuity.
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