In the Cauca department, as in all Colombia, a rush for gold has started.
There arrive people from all parts of the country, attracted by the dream of becoming rich on the one hand, but on the other hand, and more urgently, pushed by a reality of hunger and lack of opportunities.
Poor and dreamy gold seekers, the barequeros live from the crumbs the backhoe-diggers leave behind. The hundreds of metal spoons devastate the rivers when they extract kilos of gold and mock the laws, which, if not blind, are accomplices. Everyone participates in this profitable business, the guerrilla groups, the paramilitaries, the public armed forces, local administrations and controlling institutions. This is obvious.
Faced with this disaster, the Government in Bogotá envisions the control of the mines as future task of the public armed forces, under a perspective of post-conflict. However, at the same it cedes all the gold of Colombia to foreign enterprises like Anglo Gold Ashanty, Glencore, Carbón Colombia, at bargain sale prices.
A few daring resist offering their bodies and their lives to defend the land, the rivers, the idea of autonomy and respect.