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Colombia Launches Offensive Against Illegal Mining in Eight Departments

first_img Guerrillas extort local miners throughout Colombia “This type of intervention is a necessity because the machinery used in this way is causing enormous damage to the country. We are not launching an offensive against mining in general and much less against artisanal mining. This is an operation against illegal groups,” Santos told reporters. Gold, coltan and tungsten are among the minerals mined illegally in 25 of Colombia’s 32 departments, representing a new and lucrative source of income even as coca cultivation falls, authorities say. And while the practice is nothing new here, observers say the extent to which it has spread and the magnitude of its economic yield is causing a stir — leading President Juan Manuel Santos to launch an offensive against such activity in eight departments. By Dialogo June 19, 2013 The guerrillas and other armed groups charge miners an entry fee of up to five million pesos ($2,650) for one piece of heavy machinery and then a monthly charge of two million pesos ($1,060) to continue working. Pinzón conceded that it won’t be easy to crack down on such practices, given the difficulties in reaching remote locations where the state presence is slim and where illegal groups are active in mining. He said the illegal mines are also displacing civilians living nearby — not to mention causing grave environmental damage. In mid-June, 67 pieces of heavy mining machinery allegedly belonging to the FARC were seized in the northern department of Córdoba, while in the jungle regions of Guainía and Vaupés, authorities confiscated 32 tons of coltan — a dull black metallic ore dredged from nearby rivers. Soon after the president’s statements, the Medellín newspaper El Colombiano published images of Colombian Air Force aircraft attacking and destroying machines used to excavate land in the department of Antioquia. center_img “Illegal mining not only affect the environment and damages Colombia’s natural resources but at the same time generates an economy to launder cash or finance terrorist activities. We cannot permit these actions to continue, and for this reason we must fully combat this illegal activity,” Pinzón said. Illegal gold mining is prevalent in about 340 of Colombia’s 1,102 municipalities, said Colombian Defense Minister Juan Carlos Pinzón. The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) is present in 87 of those 340, the National Liberation Army (ELN) in 30, and other criminal gangs in another 118, Pinzón told reporters. BOGOTÁ — Illegal mining in Colombia is reportedly overtaking coca as the principal source of income for FARC guerrillas and newly formed armed groups known as “bandas emergentes” — especially in regions of the country where precious metals and minerals are found and the state presence is thin. More than 2,000 pieces of heavy machinery are being used for mining in the departments of Bolívar, Córdoba and Cauca as well as in national parks and other protected areas, said Gen. Leonardo Pinto of the Colombian Army’s Nudo del Paramillo task force. In Norosi, the town in Bolívar department where in January ELN rebels kidnapped a Canadian engineer working with the mining firm Geo Explorer, armed groups supposedly charge a 50 percent tax on any minerals extracted from the ground. In Peru something similar is happening, immense extensions of wooded rain forest have been deforested due to mining. Gold provides wealth but also debases.last_img read more

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Lindegaard: Giggs a ‘new Guardiola’

first_imgManchester United goalkeeper Anders Lindegaard has become the latest figure to throw his support behind interim manager Ryan Giggs, suggesting that the Welshman could be the next Pep Guardiola. Giggs was placed in charge of United following David Moyes’ sacking on Tuesday and his team were noticeably more attack-minded in a 4-0 victory over Norwich on Saturday evening with striker Wayne Rooney hailing his manager’s impact. That has led some to suggest that the 40-year-old could be handed the job on a permanent basis in the summer despite Holland coach Louis van Gaal clearly being the favourite to land the post. And Lindegaard’s endorsement will surely add more fuel to that fire, with the Dane comparing Giggs not only to Guardiola but also to former Red Devils boss Sir Alex Ferguson. “It might sound pretty rash and naive, but, in my opinion, we are dealing with a new Guardiola,” he told BBC Sport. “What we have seen in the first week has been more than convincing. “The similarities with Sir Alex Ferguson are striking and it is evident that Ryan Giggs has learnt from one of history’s most respected football managers.” He added: “Some would question whether you can go from being a team-mate one day to a manager the next. Normally I would have reservations as well, but, in the case of Giggs, it is different. “His latest speech, before the team went onto the pitch for the Norwich game, made my hairs stand on end in a way that I have only ever experienced from Sir Alex Ferguson: Do not disappoint the fans!” Bayern Munich boss Guardiola is widely regarded as one of the world’s finest coaches after guiding Barcelona to three Primera Division and two Champions League titles in his four seasons at the Nou Camp. The Spaniard has also steered Bayern to the Bundesliga title and Champions League semi-finals this season, although some in Bavaria criticised his possession-based tactics following the 1-0 first-leg loss to Real Madrid last week. center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

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Alhaji Jawula: Financial constraints contributes to our clubs poor show in Africa

first_imgFormer Ghana Football Association chairman Lepowura Alhaji MND Jawula believes the financial constraints of Ghanaian clubs partly accounts for their poor campaigns in CAF’s inter-clubs competitions.AshantiGold’s elimination on Sunday has extended the country’s attempt to play in the Group stage of the CAF Champions League since 2012 when Berekum Chelsea featured in the group stage.“All governments have not been good to football and I have been saying this over and over and when we qualified for Africa we are among the few countries where government pays nothing to the clubs,” Jawula told Joy Sports“If government should even handle the flight and accommodation for our clubs that qualify then they will have money to left over to pay extra bonuses which will motivate the players.“There are a lot we are not getting right and I think our football authorities should sit with government and to avoid quarreling and fighting over unnecessary World Cup money, let us make the government know where the difficulty is so they can support.”Medeama are now Ghana’s only representative in continental competition this year. –Follow Joy Sports on Twitter: @JoySportsGH. Our hashtag is #JoySportslast_img read more

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