Digging for Trouble: Conflict and Mining in Rural Colombia

There is very little that compares to the thrill of riding a motorcycle through the Colombian countryside. I was a bit apprehensive when our host, Juan Camilo, first invited me to hop onto his motorbike and give me a lift to the community assembly meeting I was attending that morning. But this was maybe the only opportunity I would ever have to ride a motorcycle through rural Colombia, so with a bit of trepidation, I climbed onto the seat behind him. As he sped off, we left my coworkers and my fears far behind us.

As we rumbled down the gravel rode, a majestic scene was laid out before us. Beneath a clear blue sky, emerald-colored mountains rose up all around us. Juan Camilo has probably made that journey a thousand times, but it was clear the view would never cease to amaze him. In the midst of all this…

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