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Story Publication logo July 5, 2012

A Battle for Colombian Mining Rights as Foreign Firms Move In

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Colombia's small-scale traditional miners are fighting for their piece of the recent gold mining...

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As the price of gold soars to record highs, Colombia sits at the forefront of a gold rush. In response foreign mining companies have swept in, setting up mining ventures across the country and disrupting the small-scale traditional miners that have operated there for generations. These local miners must now fight to maintain the trade that they have been practicing for years.

The municipality of Suarez, in the southern department of Cauca, is one of the sites for the ongoing battle between foreign mining industries and local miners. This battle comes at a high price for locals. Dozens of community miners have received death threats warning them to stop trying to prevent foreign intervention. Over 40 assassinations have occurred since 2009 in the small pocket of Cauca alone. The battle for mining rights and gold profits continues in the region.

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