28th May, 2008
Imagine you’re walking along and notice a flash from the ground. You look down and you’ve stumbled upon gold. You think your luck has changed, what’s shining back at you is a life of luxury, problems over. Except if you’re Luis Arteaga, a 95 year-old father of 10 in Honduras.
In 1980 he discovered an unexplored gold deposit in Palo Ralos. Since then his ‘blessing’ has turned into a curse with the arrival of an international mining company. His community has been forced off their land, their water supplies poisoned with cyanide, and their traditional way of life wrecked. To add insult to injury the profits he is entitled to are still being withheld by the mining company who made him leave his home.
This is just one of the cases revealed in a new exhibition that has opened at London’s Oxo gallery, telling stories of communities suffering because of gold mining and revealing how behind the glamour of gold, the reality can be horrific.
The exhibition is curated by CAFOD, The Catholic Agency for Overseas Development, as part of the ‘Unearth Justice’ campaign which aims to ‘clean up’ the gold industry. Two award-winning photojournalists travelled to the communities that the aid agency has been working with, to document the conditions of those affected by...
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