[Translation of an article by Agence France Presse as published in La Jornada of Mexico City on May 13. See original here.]
A resurgent gold fever has put Latin America at risk: tropical forests devastated by illegal operations where the law of the jungle rules, local communities at war against investment projects by large international mining companies.
The appetite for gold and other metals has generated a boom for informal mining, especially in Peru, Colombia and Bolivia, and put the formal industry at a peak, with projected investments of 300 billion dollars by 2020, according to the Sociedad Interamericana de Minería.
Regardless, 162 conflicts over mining have broken out all over the region because of the opposition of local communities to projects they see as threats, especially because of their great consumption of water, according to the Observatorio de Conflictos Mineros de América Latina. (more…)