Gold is replacing cocaine as the profit medium of choice for Colombian rebels as the price of the precious metal continues on its upward trend.
Not content to deprive bankers with their much needed cocaine, the Colombian government must now protect legitimate mining investments within Colombia whilst preventing home grown (excuse the pun) militarized forces within it's borders from seizing power.
Colombian paramilitary and guerrilla organisations are maximising gold's upward trajectory to fund their anti-governmental exercisesÂ and make a living at the same time through illegal gold mining operations.
49 year old Mines and Energy Minister Mauricio Cardenas said:
“It’s something that has been growing fast, and in some ways it’s Colombia’s next major threat from the point of view of illegal groups,”
“We have to combat this very effectively, very fast. We cannot let this problem grow.”
Groups like, FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) and ELN are recovering from decades of coca plantation destruction so diversificationÂ into illegal gold mining is providing fresh funds to meet their aims and objectives.
Unlike cocaine, gold is much easier to move through an economy and launder and even export, but with the rising price of gold means this increase in gold output (which I will not insult your intention by revealing the official output figures when the illegal amount mined is NEVER going to be auditable) may result in the average Colombian being exposed to more gold than the average American or European.
Whilst Joe Public is converting old gold into cash his Colombian counterpart may be choosing to hold onto a little of that passing through the economy.
Next time you're at a party and get offered a line of Colombia's finest you may find it clogs your nose up a little more than you were expecting.