HomeNewsBriefNew York Times Features Images from Colombia's Illegal Gold Mines
BRIEF

New York Times Features Images from Colombia's Illegal Gold Mines

COLOMBIA / 2 NOV 2011 BY HANNAH STONE EN

The New York Times photo blog features images from Choco, on Colombia's Pacific coast, where Afro-Colombian communities are menaced by armed groups who are taking control of the illicit gold mining industry.

The images featured in Lens, the New York Times photography blog, were taken by Venezuelan photographer Kike Arnal in 2009 and are accompanied by text from Simon Romero.

The Afro-Colombian communities that live in Choco, one of Colombia's poorest regions, are facing a growing threat from criminal groups that are increasingly involved in Colombia's illegal gold mining industry. As Romero points out, land in the region is also fought over for coca growing and drug smuggling routes.

As InSight Crime has detailed, the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) control much of the gold mining in the neighboring province of Antioquia. New generation paramilitary groups such as the Urabeños and the Paisas are also involved in the business, and, according to Romero, the Choco mines are often run by gunmen from Antioquia.

The west Colombian province of Cauca is also home to illicit gold mining, as a recent PBS documentary reported, with the industry dominated in some areas by drug gangs that call themselves the Aguilas Negras.

gold_choco
Underwater miners in Choco

gold_choco1
A woman works with bare hands at her mine in La Planta, Choco

gold_choco2
An illegal, open-pit gold mine in Manungara, Tado, Choco

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

COLOMBIA / 5 OCT 2021

Colombia’s top military commander says 40 percent of ELN and ex-FARC fighters operate in Venezuela, a figure that must be…

COCAINE / 7 JUL 2022

Ahmet Yilmaz* shouldn’t be in a dangerous profession. He’s not a cop or a criminal. Ahmet is a banana importer…

COLOMBIA / 5 JUL 2022

Up to seven commanders belonging to the dissident FARC have been killed in Colombia and Venezuela in the last year.

About InSight Crime

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Extensive Coverage of our Chronicles of a Cartel Bodyguard

23 SEP 2022

Our recent investigation, A Cartel Bodyguard in Mexico’s 'Hot Land', has received extensive media coverage.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime, American University Host Illegal Fishing Panel

19 SEP 2022

InSight Crime and the Center for Latin American & Latino Studies (CLALS) at American University discussed the findings of a joint investigation on IUU fishing at a September 9 conference.

THE ORGANIZATION

Impact on the Media Landscape

9 SEP 2022

InSight Crime’s first investigation on the Dominican Republic made an immediate impact on the Dominican media landscape, with major news outlets republishing and reprinting our findings, including in …

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Sharpens Its Skills

2 SEP 2022

Last week, the InSight Crime team gathered for our annual retreat in Colombia, where we discussed our vision and strategy for the next 12 months.  During the week, we also learned how to…

THE ORGANIZATION

Colombia’s Fragile Path to Peace Begins to Take Shape

26 AUG 2022

InSight Crime is charting the progress of President Gustavo Petro’s agenda as he looks to revolutionize Colombia’s security policy, opening dialogue with guerrillas, reforming the military and police, and…