75% of the gold dug out of the earth yearly is used for jewelry, watches and other useless status symbols sold by the luxury goods industry. The frenzy for owning and wearing gold adornments is the incentive for environmental destruction and the degradation of indigenous lives by gold miners as well as organized crime, not just in the Amazon, but around the globe.
Illegal gold is the most lucrative way for drug cartels, terrorist groups, arms traffickers, the mafia, unscrupulous bankers as well as international gold traders and brokers to launder money because, contrary to cocaine, gold that’s “legal” looks exactly like illegal gold. Consumers participate at the top of the money laundering chain when they purchase gold watches and jewelry from luxury shops, unknowingly contributing to deforestation, pollution and violence; ecocide and ethnocide in indigenous territories.
Since 2007, illegal Gold has taken the place of drugs as the principal income source for organized crime and the growing demand for gold has generated a violent illicit commerce more difficult to track than drugs. These brutal actors have infiltrated every aspect of the supply chain from extorting the gold miners prospecting in muddy ponds…
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