On (and In) the Ground in the Congo
Published on Sep 22nd, 2011 by
You all know that our ECO-CELL mission is driven by a commitment to preserve and protect wildlife habitats, waterways, the environment, and the many oppressed people who live in fear and danger, denied justice and peace — all, simply to give us consumers a better “smartphone” and faster, lighter, nimbler technology.
The video and article available at VICE guide to the Congo (external link, new window) paints a grim portrait of the situation in Congo. Atrocious conditions of fear and abuse are the norm. This is why we do the work we do.
As Eric said: “Sometimes I forget just how real the issue of Coltan mining really is sitting here in Louisville, KY. This guy threw it right back at me in a visceral way-made me glare at my smartphone. I know there aren’t any easy answers but from my perspective the change must come from the consumer. Me.”
“We’d come to Congo to try to find out more about the developed world’s thirst for coltan, cassiterite, and the other colorfully named minerals that make the electronics industry go round. These are part of a group of natural resources that have been dubbed “conflict minerals” because of the alphabet soup of armed groups (FARDC, CNDP, FDLR, PARECO, etc.) who have found them a very portable and highly profitable way to fund their activities—which mostly consist of killing people. Since 1996, these guerrilla insurgencies have led to the deaths of more than 5 million people, and in one particularly horrific year—2006—the rape of approximately 400,000 women.”
See the videos here: http://www.vice.com/vice-news/the-vice-guide-to-congo-1