Report explores link between gold extracting and organized crime in Colombia

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Pouring gold bars at the Anglo Ashanti gold mine in Obuasi, Ghana. File Photo: Jonathan Ernst/World Bank

A new report is shedding light on the relationship between gold extracted from rivers and other waterways in Colombia and organized crime.

It finds that about 60 per cent of alluvial gold exploitation is not taking place through normal channels and in many cases is financing and strengthening organized criminal groups.

Ana Carmo reports.

The report has been launched by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) together with Colombia's Justice, Energy and Environment ministries.

It focuses on the geographic distribution of alluvial gold mining across the South American country.

Colombia's Pacific region was found to be the most affected, which the report says, echoes a similar trend seen with coca growing: the plant used to make cocaine.

The study also warns that special territories, such as Afro-Colombian communal lands, were being impacted the most.

Indigenous Emberá-Katío communities in two areas of the country were also found to be "highly vulnerable to alluvial gold activities."

UNODC says the report seeks to improve understanding of the industry, including ways of developing effective public policies to address it.

Ana Carmo, United Nations.

Duration: 51"

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