Colombia’s new president threatens to blow up illegal mining operations

Colombia’s president Gustavo Petro. (Image by Petro’s press team, Flickr).

Colombia’s new leftist president Gustavo Petro said that the armed forces will dynamite every dredge that is being used across the country to mine gold illegally.

During a meeting of Colombia’s Security Council, which was held in the Bolívar department – one of the areas affected by illegal mining operations – Petro mentioned that his government will push for a mining policy that greatly differs from what’s already in place based on the existing Mining Code. Thus, a new bill is to be introduced before Congress.  

“This new mining policy implies that the small, traditional miner can obtain long-term concessions granted by the State, which will allow him to develop his activity in a sustainable manner without affecting the environment,” the president said.

Gustavo Petro emphasized that the bill will have an environmental focus and that local communities should be at the centre of all relevant civil, military and police operations that are carried out to combat illegal mining.