Our Stanito’s correspondents from Colombia sent us a photo of what illegal gold mining looks like.
Our source tells us that close to 80% of all the gold produced in Colombia comes from illegal miners. Colombia has also one of the highest rates of mercury contamination in the region, followed very closely by Peru, whose government’s efforts have achieved not much much in this fight. In basic terms, mercury is used to separate the gold from the rock. But then this chemical is tossed and wasted into the nearby water streams, leading to an actual ecocide.