Mining with the FARC

Indian miners native to Colombia's Amazon region depend on the terrorist group known as the FARC to get their tantalum and tungsten to market, explains Colombian miner Javier Garcia in a recent article with Bloomberg.

Miners from Garcia's town slog through jungle on foot for 100 km just to reach the mine site. After paying the FARC for the right to mine, they spend hours swishing "watery red mud around a flat wooden pan until pebbles containing a metal called tantalum appear."

The FARC then sells the tantalum and tungsten – metals crucial to the production of smartphones and other mobile devices – across the world in order to "help finance one of the world's longest-running guerilla wars."

Read the article in full here.

Related: Colombian armed rebels tighten control over gold mining