The true cost of your jewelry: Cartels launder drug money selling BLOOD GOLD to Cartier and others in the luxury industry as well as to discount gold shops and the Yanomami and other indigenous people pay the price – update!

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.

Barbara Crane Navarro

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.

photo montage: series “Pas de Cartier” – Barbara Crane Navarro – with ad for Cartier and photo João Laet

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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About Barbara Crane Navarro - Rainforest Art Project

I'm a French artist living near Paris. From 1968 to 1973 I studied at Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, Rhode Island, then at the San Francisco Art Institute in San Francisco, California, for my BFA. My work for many decades has been informed and inspired by time spent with indigenous communities. Various study trips devoted to the exploration of techniques and natural pigments took me originally to the Dogon of Mali, West Africa, and subsequently to Yanomami communities in Venezuela and Brazil. Over many years, during the winters, I studied the techniques of traditional Bogolan painting. Hand woven fabric is dyed with boiled bark from the Wolo tree or crushed leaves from other trees, then painted with mud from the Niger river which oxidizes in contact with the dye. Through the Dogon and the Yanomami, my interest in the multiplicity of techniques and supports for aesthetic expression influenced my artistic practice. The voyages to the Amazon Rainforest have informed several series of paintings created while living among the Yanomami. The support used is roughly woven canvas prepared with acrylic medium then textured with a mixture of sand from the river bank and lava. This supple canvas is then rolled and transported on expeditions into the forest. They are then painted using a mixture of acrylic colors and Achiote and Genipap, the vegetal pigments used by the Yanomami for their ritual body paintings and on practical and shamanic implements. My concern for the ongoing devastation of the Amazon Rainforest has inspired my films and installation projects. Since 2005, I've created a perfomance and film project - Fire Sculpture - to bring urgent attention to Rainforest issues. To protest against the continuing destruction, I've publicly set fire to my totemic sculptures. These burning sculptures symbolize the degradation of nature and the annihilation of indigenous cultures that depend on the forest for their survival.
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