Bolivia’s Gold Mining Industry Is Poisoning South America

Miners watch the rescue efforts for two fellow gold miners at La Solution mine in La Paz, Bolivia, Nov. 20, 2010 (AP file photo by Juan Karita).
Miners watch the rescue efforts for two fellow gold miners at La Solution mine in La Paz, Bolivia, Nov. 20, 2010 (AP file photo by Juan Karita).
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LA PAZ, Bolivia—In early December, United Nations rapporteurs published a letter of allegations against the Bolivian government, citing the untrammeled import and use of mercury for gold mining, and suggesting that Bolivia had become a gateway for contraband mercury going to other Amazonian countries. It further accused Bolivia of failing to comply with the Minamata Convention that regulates the use of toxic substances. In signing the Minamata Convention along with almost every South American country in 2013, Bolivia committed to curbing and eventually eliminating almost all uses of mercury, including in artisanal gold mining. Bolivia ratified the agreement in 2015, and […]

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