EARTHblog » Nick Magel
By Nick Magel
February 13, 2012
Today, activists from the No Dirty Gold campaign left Macy’s a message at its downtown Washington D.C. storefront. The activists decorated the Macy’s front entrance with a giant balloon banner reading: “Macy’s, Don’t Break our Hearts. Dump Dirty Gold!” - referring to Macy’s failure to sign on to the No Dirty Gold campaign’s “Golden Rules” for responsible metals’ sourcing.
The activists showed up at Macy’s the day before Valentine’s Day to let shoppers know that Macy’s has thus far taken no action to help rid the jewelry industry of dirty gold: gold that may have been produced at the cost of human rights abuses, labor violations, and environmental destruction, among others.
Valentine’s Day is one of Macy’s busiest shopping seasons in the year, with the jewelry departments full of shoppers looking to buy gold jewelry for their special someone. Some of these prospective shoppers in Washington DC were greeted today by the large banner, held by over 3 dozen helium balloons, floating over the store’s main entrance informing shoppers about Macy’s dirty secret.
By Nick Magel
January 26, 2012
Colombia is in the middle of a mining bonanza. The national geology and mining regulation body, Ingeominas, reports that between 2008-2010 over 15,000 applications for mining operations were submitted. According to the new report “Mining in Colombia: at What Cost?” (PDF) nearly 40% of Colombia lands are under extraction and exploration licenses. Over 8.4 million hectares have been leased solely for mining, or just about 4x the size of New Jersey.
In the Colombia highlands mining is not a new way of livelihood. Artisanal mining has been a cornerstone of community sufficiency for generations, as is the case in Marmato. Marmato is a small village, in the department of Caldas, with a 500-year history of small-scale artisanal mining. In many ways the community of Marmato embodies the growing struggles of communities that sit on Colombia’s resource rich lands. In this case it’s gold. Marmato sits on “Montana de Oro”, or Mountain of Gold, so it is no surprise that large multi-national mining companies are anxious to tap into the area’s known deposits.