Colombia wants illegal mining to be international crime

Colombia wants illegal mining to be international crime

Gold is illegal miners’ main target.

Colombia’s Minister of Defense for Policy and International Affairs, Jorge Enrique Bedoya said Thursday the country has made significant progress towards including illegal mining in the list of international crimes, after members of the Andean Community of Nations (CAN) agreed today to apply a set of measures to combat the illicit activity.

Speaking on radio La W, the authority said Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia have committed to destroying machinery and even properties related to unlawful mining if they can’t be seized.

Two weeks ago, Colombia revealed it was planning a raid to seize and close a major illegal tungsten mine run by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), which is said to have supplied top multinational companies, including BMW, Volkswagen, Samsung and Apple.

Illegal mining has become the “new cocaine” of Latin America in terms of illicit trading, as the Andean countries, as well as Venezuela and Brazil are said to be obtaining higher profits from the unlicensed activity than from drug trafficking. The ecological damage is even greater.

The shady business in the Amazonic jungle of Peru is already generating 15% more profits than the country’s total estimated drug trafficking. The figure is shocking, as Peru is said to already be the world’s largest exporter of cocaine.