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tv   Documentary  RT  April 18, 2013 10:29am-11:00am EDT

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shed's the country's richest gold mine it's operated by canadian multinational corporation gran colombia gold. today the army has taken over the sector for a high risk mission. transporting the week's production to a safe location. three gold ingots over twenty kilos each. here we have sixty eight kilos of it. that makes one point two million euro. in colombia gold is highly coveted by the criminal organizations. so in order to avoid an ambush the time and day of the transfer or decided at the last minute make skating this is the most critical moments and on the side and the gold leaves the factory it up got to be transported to the city of midday and it is.
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the in goods are carried away at a run. the soldiers mark out the course. the operation is completed in four minutes. the precious cargo takes off towards mid-evening the regional capital from where the gold will be exported. this ago via gold mines are the oldest ones in south america they were own for a long time by an english company frontino gold mines but in two thousand and ten and gran colombia gold bought the entire concession. thanks to different teano mines the canada based multinational has become colombia's leading gold producer in two thousand and eleven two and a half tons of yellow metal came out of these for an asus the checks are very strict everyone is body searched including the boss. just things that.
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c.n.a. my friend the vice president of gone colombia moreover has a predestined name who is a auro. being the spanish word for gold thanks a lot see united my friend. who's a or always cuban to label former comrades or fidel castro he made the transition from marxism to capitalism with the greatest of ease. for him colombia is the new eldorado. it's very profitable to invest in colombia we did very profitable. very high return on investment and a large reserves of natural resources to exploit it all in and what's more the easy resources they want to fight in other countries behold the fruit on the lower branches of the tree has been eaten and the any fruit left is at the top. whereas here there's still a lot of fruit left to pick up. but for the time being grown colombia is obliged to share its fruit while it officially wholly owns the enormous ago via
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deposit illegal mines have sprung up like mushrooms all over its concession. rafael to bone he's a manager oath. and a legal mind that has developed into a small company he and his partners were employed by the former company frontino gold mines bought out by grown colombia they've set up their activity here without authorization. and i guess i'm sad that felt right i wouldn't understand it that it everyone works on the front you know well x. frontino not only they forced us into doing this because they fired us and they threw us out and not only got a lot so we came to find work here. under the virgin mary's protection the miners descend three hundred meters below ground. at the mine bottom air is in short supply. so is the water good. better than my wife.
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smiles on their faces but on their backs loads way eighty kilos. six eight ten cents per day. for most slave labor that can be fatal due to cave ins and yet there's no shortage of miners wanting to work here some of them can earn up to two thousand euros a month four times the average salary in colombia. meter after meter the column moves forward gold is embedded everywhere in the rock. miles and miles of these galleries eat away at grand columbia's concession. it seems that there's money. that. way all this belongs to the people not to the company. so that you know how we break it all back to own up pesos. such suffering be illegal that isn't even. inside as on
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the outside it's the same anger because grown colombia is requesting that these illegal mines be closed down and. they start right away with the new countries the doors there you know they come with new technologies to steal the riches of the colombian. yes distil it's ours the yes i've got and that lady says they come to steal what's ours because all of this is ours. this is how we make our living from salvaging rocks. if the illegal mines close down everyone will lose their livelihood the miners but also thousands of women who sort through the rock debris where bits of gold can still be found. well and twenty four years old and i've been working at the mine for ten years now we've got
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a connection if they close down the mine what we do. will be closed to leave to go there will be go this is where the money is. but the. fifty or so illegal mines such as they'll cho-cho are existing on borrowed time and this a go via area. and as the price of the yellow metal continues to soar on world markets so gold he is experiencing a new lease on life people are coming out here from all over the country to seek their fortunes. a modern day gold rush in the heart of war played colombia. from the old children mine bianca carries bags of rocks to these antiquated mills. the rock is ground up for hours. to extract the gold particles a dangerous product is used mercury. this
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gray paste is obtained which contains the gold. we should wear long gloves and even mask that nobody uses any form of protection everyone just ignores the danger. and that's ok that when people get older around here their hands starts tremble. nervous disorders memory loss fix of mercury are devastating in the air in the water insecure via mercury is omnipresent it's one of the most contaminated zones in the world. these small scale miners sell their gold. to merchants gold is exchanged for large wads of notes. so here everyone protects their business.
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this is to protect myself from thieves have already been held up twice. the mercury evaporates and the heat of the blow torches leaving behind the yellow metal which will be melted down into ingots this is how the gold from the illegal mines provides a livelihood force a go vias fifty thousand inhabitants. a parallel economy that has a auro head of gong colombia wants to eradicate completely. little by little we're going to regain control we have to do away with all of this but at the same time we have to give the people work opportunities. for his safety posing or all right around in an armored four by four he wants to show us that he's perfectly at ease and to go via that he's at home here everywhere even at the
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barbershop. someone wants to say hello does that mean my go to the major ally you. let me introduce you to some french journalists a major is the chief of the city police is a very good friend of ours. we have a contract with the police a contract with the army a contract with the city hall. that we also have a school that we finance them. the company finances the police and the army which in exchange ensures that security but the company also uses its dollars to win over the inhabitants its latest project a local radio station. as i do most of you we've been the victim of a very strong demonization campaign you know and we think that's thanks to the radio. we're going to be able to change all that. but they have a good those the sea legs so if anyone wants to try to compete with this sort of
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influencing the population and i'm sorry but they love all they're going to lose the main goal is to make it one of the things that. while waiting to impose its power through the radio the multinational begins by imposing it through force. is just about it we've been ordered to close down these lines. and for that one but it's out we can count on the support of the employees of britain colombia which owns the mining rights in this region to try to rescue. the company lends them its premises and is present during the whole operation. first target an illegal tunnel on the outskirts of town. weapons in hand the policeman besieged the mine the situation soon gets heated.
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up and i'm asking you the question do you have a mining permit. no one has a permit i applied for one but they never gave it to me. we're going to start standing if that's how it is and all of you want us to want to work so we're going to steal and kill or we'll start drug trafficking. and. i think the only civilian amongst the policeman and engineer from gong columbia guides the troops now a list of the mines to be closed down is displayed on his mobile phone screen. to get him up if you want to take advantage of daylight we should continue on right away. ok let's go let's go meaning. but the operation is cut short the policeman fear a clash with the miners they content. cells with carting away a dozen or so of them back to the police station the police also seize the dynamite used to blast the tunnels.
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a minor protests he was in the middle of negotiations with kong colombia to legalize his money. i mean like a thank you not as proof he holds out a business card in the name of who is a auro the head of the multinational and to go beyond. secret laboratory to mccurry was able to build a most sophisticated robot which fortunately doesn't give a darn about anything tim's mission to teach me the creation of why you should care about humans and. this is why you should care only. you know sometimes you see a story and it seems so you think you understand it and then you glimpse something
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else you hear or see some other part of it and realize everything you thought you don't know i'm tom harpur welcome to the big picture. we speak your language. news programs and documentaries in spanish more matters to you breaking news a little turn to angles kiddies stories. you hear. the spanish find out more visit.
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the international airport in the very heart of moscow. in it. it appears that jose oro is far from having one over to go via. today may the first the employees are gone colombia are out in the street they're demanding wage increases. small scale miners and local inhabitants are demonstrating alongside them. amidst the crowd one man personifies the revolt of the entire town. not. much. better. than. the euro ruach is president of the gobi
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a mine workers union today he's the multinationals leading adversary he contest the company's right to operate this a go be a mines which up until two thousand and ten belong to different you know company he speaks of theft one third artist i mean other by giving the minds of the front you know gold mines company a multinational they have violated all rights anymore they stole a patrimony that belongs solely to the workers to the retired workers and to all the people of sago of the out. a speech that he repeats cecily in front of the microphones and film cameras. i see is that the likely demand is the most and we demand that once and for all they give us back the front you know mines does they are ours. it would seem that the mine. belong to the employees to prove it. takes us to his office he wants to show us a document that he keeps preciously and notarize act dating back to one nine
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hundred seventy nine. at that time frontino was in dire financial straits and it's english and american owners wanted to leave colombia but they owed years of unpaid wages to their employees so from their head office in new york they decided to be queen of the company and all its mines to them it's all there in black and white. mayor don't document it just by way of this document signed in the presence of a notary in new york. it's now known as the new york act. yes there it is i mean the it's through this that the donation was made to the workers say by way of payment. the new york act orders the managers or from tino to transfer all the property to the workers and retired workers or to their unions it was authentic
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aided by the colombian consulate in one thousand nine hundred nine the document was then handed over to the government which was responsible for announcing the good news to the miners get us there what happened then. and then says trade ministry and the minister did that all employment ministry at the time and the columbia consulate in new york on this document secret deal see. for twenty years the workers were unaware that frontino had between them the mines the company was run by local managers who got richer and richer wagon after wagon. but in two thousand while searching through the archives of the ministry of economy by pure chance a trade unionist and earth's the new york act from then on the workers are going to do everything in their power to recover frontino. but they have a dangerous man to contend with a certain carlos mario humanise alias macaco the macaque at the head of
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a paramilitary group of five thousand man he controls the entire region from the cocaine trafficking to the gold production activities. macaco is at that time one of the unofficial owners of the frontino minds he operates them illegally by way of front. is that i find all our goal behind all our riches are the economic interests of armed groups like the paramilitaries. paramilitary groups such as macaco as were organized by rich landowners to control the marxist guerrilla group the fox. they terrorized the country for twenty years. often with the backing of the regular army. it since ago via moreover where they perpetrate one of their first massacres in one nine hundred eighty eight forty three people are killed in the town center their favorite targets the trade
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unionists and leftist political activists. since that time the trade union leaders such as the euro ruah received death threats on a regular basis for their protection bodyguards permanently accompany them wherever they go. in the early two thousand the trade unionists come up against the paramilitary leader macaco hold over this a go via mines. they see their frontino heritage escape them little by little this territory rich in gold. so they take their case to court and the court rules in their favor. over those go a court and they did mean to get a court that deals with matters relating to labor disputes rendered its decision at the end of two thousand and six and recognize that the minds of the front two new
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gold mines company belong exclusively to the workers and retired workers in tell us about it in the space of less so and in two thousand and seven the supreme court of justice confirmed that decision. but strangely enough it's the colombian government that opposes frontino being given to the workers it appeals and manages to overturn all the decisions in favor of the trade unionists and the government at the time is led by president alvaro. he becomes personally involved in the case the frontier no company is overindebted he places it under direct control of the state. i've been seeing down. gay's they the president. that was from this region was very preoccupied and. nationality he had managed to resolve the major problems of the country but not those of his own regions. and this was like a thorn in his side for him. been and still that. has to deal
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with macaco the local paramilitary leader he names a commission of four experts to advise him on frontino his future according to our investigation three of them have ties with macaco one of them is even his financial advisor role in day businessman so here's a man who at the same time advises both the colombian president and a mafia leader as these documents from the chamber of commerce prove at the time the lindy runs at least two of macaco companies they serve as fronts for laundering money from cocaine trafficking. we make an unannounced visit to these mini offices equipped with a hidden camera linda has never been bothered by the legal authorities he wishes to remain discreet. but me.
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i won't give an interview i'm sorry but no. person to ask him what he can because of the country's political situation you know work and now that president or e bay is no longer in power. all those who helped are now being persecuted politically want to. go to a few and we were simply a team of advisors in the private sector advisors. and we guided the president in his decisions here. but you pneumococcal personally. if he was one of my a longstanding customers getting the boat tires from. lindy won't tell us anything more he denies this kalu. between the mafia and the government which prevents the unionists from recovering frontino that in two thousand and eight president a rebate is going to become sole game master he manages to eliminate macaco at washington's request he extradite him to the united states together with the other
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main paramilitary leaders all accused of drug trafficking macaco is sentenced in florida to thirty three years imprisonment but there's still no question of handing over the mines to the workers the rebate looks for a more powerful investor. frontino his fate is sealed in two thousand and ten the government sells the company to a newly set up canada based multinational corporation granted colombia gold insecure workers and trade unionists give vent to their anger. in some us and we believe and are almost sure of it that the president already being as financial interests in this matter what he wants in fact is to take our minds into. the unionist accuses of our rebate he can't prove that the ex-president has direct interests in the new company but strangely enough the main winners in this matter or people closely connected to a viral rebate. at the side of the foreign investors at the head of grand bia we
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find mario pacheco his first campaign manager. martinez his minister of mines and more importantly occupying the post of chairman and managing director maria consuelo x. minister of culture and a close friend of the president delighted to celebrate in two thousand and eleven the company's entry into the toronto stock market is little more such an act of theft is totally unprecedented. you know not only in colombia but in the world. i've never heard of such a case as ours where so much money and gold has been stolen for so many years. for the managers of the multinational the treed units claims are without foundation. many people thought that they would obtain this mine defacto along or through violence and usurpation. but i think that the colombian government made the right choice and that they needed
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a company that had the technical capacity and experience to operate the mines i mean you know and if we didn't have any enemies unionists or others i mean i would be very worried. that would mean there are mines are worth much to me and. how do you explain the death rates received by the trade unionists not you know no the contrary would be strange you know of year there's nothing unusual about someone receiving a threat. how often have we received threats some people have offered millions for done has they said. i mean if someone receives it right here it's. we don't threaten anyone. the sailor from tino to grand columbia was concluded four months before the end of all of our early base mandate . as a fighter for the people. who have strived for a safer more prosperous and more just country the former president left power in
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two thousand and ten he tours around the country to defend his track record long left colombia. still very popular he loves to mingle with the crowd but hates interviews we made several attempts to question him about from tino in vain we made another attempt during a political meeting in the boulder tar region of the us and she go via the workers' union affronting they'll claim that the company belongs to them and that your government sold it to your friends or you have to say about that mr president soon . as the president yes. no answer but his campaign smile has disappeared we want to give us his version of the facts as for the trade unionists us to go via they continue their combat before the law courts they asked me colombian government for sixteen billion euros in compensation
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the value of the gold extracted from their minds over these past thirty years. wealthy british style. market finance can't. find out what's really happening to the global economy with mike's keyser are no holds barred. look at the global financial headlines tune in to kaiser report on our. choose your language. because we know if. someone. chooses to use the consensus get to. choose the opinions that invigorating to. choose the stories that impact your life
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a. good speech. her. look her wit her. looks. like a misleading good. flick her posts. and. her. little mouth run of a very little. sleep . more news today violence is once again fled up the from these are the images the world has been seeing from the streets of canada. for
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a shelter all day please. the international airport in the very heart of moscow.


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