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Blood for Diamonds in Zimbabwe — Update!

Blood for Diamonds in Zimbabwe — Update!

Two weeks ago, we reported on Zimbabwe’s abusive diamond mines with forced child labor and brutal violence and torture of local villagers by soldiers.

Now the Zimbabwean government has announced plans to withdraw soldiers “in phases” from the diamond mines due to pressure from human rights groups.

In addition to forced labor, many Zimbabweans desperately in need of work flocked to the mines, only to face violence. About 200 people were killed within three weeks of the army’s occupation.

It remains to be seen, however, if indeed the demilitarization will occur. The BBC reported in April that President Mugabe and his close allies are profitting from the sale of illegal diamonds, even though soldiers were sent to supposedly stop illegal trade.

Currently a team from the Kimberly Process, the group which certifies diamonds, is in Zimbabwe investigating the abuses. Human Rights Watch claims that if diamonds were legally regulated, Zimbabwe could earn approximately $200 million per month, a much-needed boost to the nation’s collapsed economy. This past February the government had to redenominate the Zimbabwean dollar (ZWD) so that one trillion old ZWD is equal to one new ZWD.

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31 comments

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5:26AM PDT on Jul 20, 2009

President Mugabe is a criminal. Period. That is the way he runs his country. What makes you think that he will be against something illegal? A possible way for the Zimbabweans to survive is to assassinate Mugabe.

1:03PM PDT on Jul 16, 2009

We who are so fortunate to live in our safe countries can really have no idea the abismal life these poor souls lead - the everyday threats to their livelihood and their families - I really feel for all these poor souls -

11:52AM PDT on Jul 14, 2009

Instead of the Government illegally selling these diamonds the money from these diamonds should go to people as loans to open up businesses and create jobs for people to boost the economy. There is a better way to obtain money then off the force labor of these people and the murder of them also. I guess this Government is not very bright. And I do not buy Diamonds and there should be a ban on them until this Government wakes up and does what is right.

4:06AM PDT on Jul 14, 2009

I agree if we stop buying diamonds and stop benefiting from any industry that exploits; 1. We will have a simple way of life, 2. We will not have the blood of someone else on our hands. It has to stop somewhere.

How to create change:

1. With our tongues - we have to speak out to our governments, in prayer and in unison "This is not acceptable"
2. With our hands - we have to do something. Stop buying the diamond, acai berry, etc. We know most of the resources and comforts we enjoy in America were stolen from someone (that is our history). That includes and starts with the land we live on being stolen from the Indians. That includes slaves being brought over forcibly to build this country up and not be compensated even to this day. That includes Americans going to South Africa and setting up shop, causing destruction, changing the laws and still there to this day.

The list goes on and on. There is power in numbers. If enough people decide they will not benefit from someone else's suffering, when the next exploit comes along, it will not be successful!

3. With our hearts. We have to hate injustice and not be indifferent. We have to understand and believe that desecration of anyone is against God and all of humanity. We have to be so serious about how we feel that fools whose M.O. is to desecrate will not cross us with the foolishness. No more lip service!

Peace, love, and light!

7:17PM PDT on Jul 9, 2009

I wrote earlier on about people buying diamond and gold etc are supporting this awful industry, but come to think of it, we are all guilty, because we support all the other mining industries and a lot of bad stuff is happening to miners who mine for charcoal, bauxite (for making aluminium), copper mines are also awful (and copper wire is in all electric wires and who does not use electric wires ?) and silver and so on and so on. All minerals and metals are usually mined and most of them in developing countries where workers conditions are appalling, and not only the miners but entire mountains are destroyed to get to those minerals. So we're ALL guilty of their suffering, not only the brainless people who buy diamonds and other so-called "precious stones".

6:58AM PDT on Jul 9, 2009

this is outrageous!

7:14AM PDT on Jul 8, 2009

What makes a diamond so valuable - a very old marketing campaign? There are some industrial uses, but I've never understood why they are associated with marriage. Any woman who thinks a diamond is "a girl's best friend" is exposing the fact that she is very materialistic person and not someone I would want to spend the rest of my life with.

12:28AM PDT on Jul 8, 2009

This is really sad. But the demand for diamonds will continue to rise for ever.

7:50PM PDT on Jul 7, 2009

Diamonds haversted through forced labour with such cruelty should never be bought. For thoes who buy such diamonds are no diffrent from thoes who havest it through cruel inhumane methods, so please don't buy.

4:23PM PDT on Jul 7, 2009

Purchasing elements mined from the earth is, at best, socially irresponsible, at worst, morally reprehensible.
I will never again purchase elements mined from the earth.

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