WOMEN WAR & PEACE | PBS

An Update from La Toma

November 1, 2011 | Nadja Drost

With sky-rocketing gold prices, gold fever has hit Colombia, a country rich in mineral deposits, and a torrent of mining companies is sweeping across the country. But many of the areas they want to mine are the same ones where traditional miners have been mining for generations. Like La Toma, an Afro-Colombian community in southwestern Colombia, whose fight to maintain its livelihood is turning out to be a dangerous undertaking.

Women, War & Peace visited La Toma for the film The War We Are Living, which follows two extraordinary Afro-Colombian women fighting to hold onto the gold-rich land that has sustained their community for centuries. Filming ended in August 2010. Colombia-based reporter Nadja Drost returned to La Toma recently to bring you this update. Despite a court victory, their land is still under threat. Support for this report was provided by the Pulitzer Center On Crisis Reporting.

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Comments

  1. anthony harris says:

    I LIKE THE STORY AND DID NOT KNOW SO MANY BLACK PEOPLE LIVE IN THAT COUNTRY.
    BUT IT DID LET ME KNOW THAT BLACK PEOPLE FOLK STILL TO THIS DAY ARE STILL GETTING UNDER FAIR ALL OVER THE WORLD. I THOUGHT THE WOMEN IN THIS STORY GAVE ALOT OF HEART, THANK GOD THEY STOOD UP FOR THEIR RIGHTS. THAT IS WHY I WATCH PBS YOU GET THE WHOLE STORY .

  2. Patricia says:

    I see these people fighting for what is there land,they are being killed ONLY becaause they are of DARKER SKINNED and that land is RICH,now they what to take it,it will not be long before this NEW president find’s a way of killing them and helping steal the land that these dark skinned afro-colombia’s have owned,everywhere they go they are ran away.US.has givin them $7billion dollars,this far but how long will this last,these people own the land,it is rich in resourse’s,now the light skinned colombians are killin them and makin them flee again,i would think the US.would keep the money and put there foot down and give these darker skinned people some help,the only thing here is the lite skinned THINK they are better, and the gold is their’s,which is not .it is a shame even to the ends of the earth,same old s—.the land is beautiful now they want to take it,cause they are a little lighter,SHOULD not be.They are killing people that have ran as far as they can go 2million of them.Now they want to kill the women and childern to, put there drugs in there and take their GOLD.IS there any help?For the one’s it belong to.?They go into the mine’s at age five.IT is ther right to life.

  3. sendhelp! says:

    Yeah they stood-up,but they have no weapons,the colombians are killing the men ,who also have no gun’s,they are just miner’s,why is so little attention on them,thought th us,sent $7billion in 10 yrs.how much time will that BUY? WAR.AT LEAST THE ARMY WILL KNOW WHY THEY ARE FIGHTING!in a place they would have cost far less.!? and left a land the way they found it.WITH GOLD,to care for themselves?

  4. tyler says:

    I think the two women in that program are the bravest people I have ever seen. They stand up for what is right and should solely be true for all individuals. Humans have certain rights and one should never have their home land taken from them. These women not only stand up for their small community but for the impoverished everywhere. If we let the rich take lands as the corrupt government idly watches where will they stop? Where would there curruption end. As far as the bounties of riches flow, it would be limitless , worldwide. We should not let this land be siezed and our country should not endore any other country that supports such terrorism. It takes the many of the common people to influence the few of the government before the greedy gold hungry rich pay off the few government representatives. If we let that happen then a cast society develops and great hardships will come for ones who are not the select few extremely rich.

    • COJONES says:

      THEY HAD GOOD TEACHERS THE INQUISITION AND WE GIVE THEM MONEY THE BANKS LUNDER THE DRUG MONEY AND INVEST IT ON REAL ESTATE BRIVE SOME POLITICIANS AND DEHUMANISE AND CLAIM THERE ARE NO INDIGENOUS PEOPLE THERE LIKE SPAIN SID OF THE MAYAS INCAS AND OTHER TRIVES IN THE NEW WORLD THEY ARE SAVAGES THEY ARE IGNORANT OF THE REAL WORLD AND YETT; THEY WERE FAR BEHIND IN ALL ASPECTS AND ONLY PREACH OPRESSION AND GREED.
      I DO AS YOU ADMIRE THOSE LADYS THEY HAVE WHAT MANY LACK OR ARE AFRAID TO SHOW THE RIGHT TO BE CALLED COLOMBIANS.

  5. E LOPEZ says:

    FUNNY THERE ARE NO BLACKS NOR INDIANS IN THE HILLS WELL I DID SEE PLENTY SOME ONE SID ABSOLUTE POWER CORRUPTS ABSOLUTLLY AS CLEAR AS WATER AND EVEN WATER IS MURKY SOME TIMES YETT THE ONES WITH THE POWER DONT CARE FOR THEY OWN FOLKS OR COUNTRY ITS ALL GREED;WE HAD DICK AND BUSH LOOK AT US NOW!!!!???

  6. Carmen says:

    and we, the rest of the world are only watching! shame on us usless coward people.

  7. colombianpride says:

    It’s a shame that these stories are coming out now. After Uribe was labeled as a GREAT President. As always the government only shows what they want the rest of the world to see. Corruption and injustice have been in the menu for many years and everybody looked the other way.
    It’s clear: it’s not about race, it’s about taking from the minorities to enrich the people with money and influences.

  8. hugo velazquez says:

    That is a good job, very good video, everything here is true. All the latin american people and all people on the world get to see those bad goberment. everything is Only absolutly corruption.

  9. KwusuAakhu ShepsHeru says:

    Francia, although your father and grandfather lived on that land before you, things have changed greatly since then. You are up against killers and they will not stop until everything is theirs. So I will suggest that all of the La Toma’s get together with all of the other indigenous peope there and decide how you all are going to go about protecting yourselves first. You will do best by meeting with your government officials first and discussing methods of payment for the protection of you alls whole communities, including the 2 million of you all who have been displaced. All of you all are in this together and you must decide Together. You need your governments cooperation in all of this and our governments nowadays work off of money – the highest bidder. You need to outbid everyone else who your government is allowing into your lands. This is Serious. Your children are not safe. Your future is being tossed around like a dustball. Can’t you all see how this is being played out???

    You are not going to be able to keep all that wealth to yourselves. You don’t live forever and you can’t take it with you — You All Must Share. However, you are First to say how it is to be shared among you. You have every right to see and to know how all of your resources is being handled. Have meetings among you and discuss these issues with yourselves first; not with the outsiders (they can NOT be trusted). Everyone you can look at wants a piece of this action, so you better use your Best Brains and figure this out, or else you all will be killed one by one by one and then who will own your gold, your land, your resources – not you.

    Every Colombian there is already rich, but you’re letting other people with other interest tell you everything else. You all out-number those who want you poor and homeless, so get it together and do it for your children if you can’t do it for yourselves. Good Luck.

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