In this investigation, we dive into the underworld of mercury. The mercury trade remains in the shadows of the gold industry, but few people know that mercury itself represents a multi-million dollar business.Mercury is one of the driving forces behind small-scale gold mining in the Amazon.
The liquid metal is considered essential to extract gold, but mercury pollutes fragile ecosystems and is one of the top 10 chemicals that pose a major threat to public health, according to the World Health Organisation.
To understand the underworld of mercury, we traveled to the jungles of the Amazon with an international team of journalists. We met with experts, traders, traffickers, and miners – chasing the quicksilver from trade hubs in seaside towns, along the trafficking routes through the borderlands, and into the secluded mines in the dense rainforest.
Geography, economics and migration patterns dictate that Colombia and Venezuela, which severed diplomatic ties in 2019, will confront the coronavirus pandemic together. The two countries should temporarily mend their relations, and the Venezuelan factions should pause their duel, to allow for a coordinated humanitarian response.
As Venezuela’s economy plumbs the depths of collapse, a new cohort of refugees is trekking across parched landscapes to Colombia. It consists of the most vulnerable, including poor expectant mothers, unaccompanied children and the sick, people with no defence against the predations of armed bands.
Resource conflicts and the management and protection of Venezuela’s natural heritage are not only important from a conservation angle—they are the key to achieving a sustainable political solution and unlocking Venezuela’s future.
Tensions are rising on the Colombia-Venezuela border after a new guerrilla faction opted out of Colombia’s 2016 peace deal. With diplomatic ties between the two countries severed, the risk of escalation is high. Bogotá and Caracas should open channels of communication to avoid inter-state clashes.
The frontier between Brazil and its crisis-ridden neighbour Venezuela has become a major migration route, a hotspot for crime and a flashpoint for violence. This is the first of three commentaries on Venezuela’s troubled borderlands.
De moeizaam afgedwongen vrede tussen de Colombiaanse regering en de Farc-rebellen wankelt. In delen van het land laait het geweld weer op. Maar de strijders van Quintín Lame hebben de wapens wél begraven.
Diep in de jungle van Venezuela wordt goud onder erbarmelijke omstandigheden gedolven en het land uit gesmokkeld. Met een internationaal onderzoeksteam brachten wij de smokkel in kaart. Ook Nederland speelde een rol. Vandaag lanceren we ons platform: The Smugglers’ Paradise.