News by VICE

Poisoned by the Gold Rush

VICE News correspondent Monica Villamizar travels to Antioquia Department, Colombia, a hotbed of illegal gold mining, to investigate the poisonous side-effects of the gold rush.

by VICE News
May 24 2016, 1:00pm

Gold is quickly becoming the new cocaine in Colombia. The precious metal is now the currency of choice for individuals and groups engaging in illicit trade in the South American country. That's because unlike cocaine, it's perfectly legal to carry gold, and unlike money, it's virtually untraceable. But there are some major side effects of Colombia's new gold rush that locals are curiously quiet about: erectile dysfunction and brain damage.

VICE News correspondent Monica Villamizar travelled to Antioquia Department, Colombia, a hotbed of illegal gold mining, to investigate an unprecedented surge in impotence and neurological problems that experts are attributing to mercury, an essential gold-digging element.

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