Put a Stop to Blood Diamonds

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Movie Fans: Write to your Local Newspaper about Dirty Gold

The recent Hollywood release, Blood Diamond starring Leonardo DiCaprio, may be on your holiday viewing list. The film has received widespread media attention because it highlights how the illegal diamond trade has helped to fuel and finance armed conflict in parts of Africa.

Natural resources, instead of bringing wealth, have fuelled conflict in the Dem. Republic of Congo. Credit: Richard Wainwright/CAFOD Unearth Justice

Gold mining, too, bears the scars of conflict, destruction, and human rights abuse. For example, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), armed groups fighting for control of gold mines and trading routes have tortured and killed civilians and used gold sales to buy weapons. Rather than bringing prosperity to the nation, gold has been a cause of enormous human suffering in the DRC.

Please help us raise awareness that "dirty gold" is as great a threat as "blood diamonds" by writing a letter to your local newspaper. The letters section is widely read, and it offers a great opportunity to reach your entire community.

We have provided some helpful facts and figures that you can use to craft your letter. It is helpful to relate your letter to topics the newspaper has covered recently, so keep an eye out for articles relating to the movie "Blood Diamond".

Thank you, and best wishes for the holidays, The No Dirty Gold Campaign team

P.S. Please share your letter with us by emailing it to info @nodirtygold.org. Send us a link to your published letter and we will send you a No Dirty Gold t-shirt.

Use these helpful facts and figures about "dirty gold" to write your letter to the editor. NOTE: Newspapers generally limit letters to between 100 and 200 words.

* Gold mining is one of the dirtiest industries in the world. The production of a single gold wedding ring generates 20 tons of mine waste.

* As with "blood diamonds," gold mining bears the scars of conflict, destruction, and human rights abuse. Gold mining fueled a war in the Democratic Republic of Congo that led to more civilian deaths than any war since World War II.

* In places as diverse as Guatemala, Ghana, Peru, and Indonesia, local communities and indigenous peoples have encountered intimidation, abuse, and even violent suppression when voicing opposition to mining projects.

* The majority of gold is used to make jewelry. Jewelers should ensure that they are not selling their customers gold that has been produced at the expense of communities and the environment.

* Jewelers can take an important step by endorsing the No Dirty Gold campaign's "Golden Rules" and supporting an independent certification system to weed out "dirty gold."



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