The Curse of Gold: Dimensions of Injustice in Gold-Mining Communities

Protests at Esquel, one of the communities examined in the article. Thanks

Buried within the depths of Andean geology lie small seams of gold tempting worldwide investors. These money-lined pockets aid the development of new extraction methods that dissolve gold from the mountains using cyanide. Cyanide is a metabolic poison, shutting down cellular respiration. In the wake of cyanide leaching stand piles of rubble and contaminated rivers where forested mountains and their people once stood. Surprisingly, Andean residents are willing to entertain the possibility of gold mining by this poisonous method, but oppose current mine development on environmental justice measures. A recent study by Urkidi and Walter in the journal Geoforum documents the emergence of justice narratives from mining conflicts in the Andes and predicts impacts on future development planning. Read More