Remedios and Segovia are two municipalities geographically connected and historically hard hit by the armed conflict. Both rural municipalities are part of the Nordeste Antioqueño [Northeastern Antioquia] subregion, in the department of Antioquia, which is cared for by the many working hands of the peasantry and those focused on artisanal mining. From the small towns one can see the branches of the San Lucas Mountains, in the Central Mountain range, which hold enormous wealth: gold. According to the Segovia Mayor’s Office, 7% of the country’s gold is from just this municipality and 39% comes from the Nordeste Antioqueño. This explains the large number of miners who, generation after generation, have transmitted their knowledge on artisanal mining, a technique that is less harmful to nature in comparison to large-scale mining.
The abundance of natural resources in these lands and the arrival of multinational companies, such as the Canadian Gran Colombia Gold, has provided the illegal armed groups who are present in the region with an extremely lucrative funding source in mining. In the Nordeste Antioqueño, a highly militarized region, communities have resisted by activating their own protection protocols, in the face of a lack of state support to guarantee their safety. Despite the enormous work carried out by human rights organizations such as the Peasant Association of the Cimitarra River Valley (ACVC) and the Humanitarian Action Corporation for Coexistance Peace in Northeast Antioquia (CAHUCOPANA), both accompanied by PBI, the violence seems to be endless.
Continue reading “Amid this fear, there is a desire to live”: Retrospective on the Nordeste Antioqueño