The unearthing of raw materials for products like mobile phones, copper pipes or wind turbines is fueling unchecked economic growth in South America. It’s a vicious cycle that goes back more than 400 years to colonial times, yet continues unabated at a great cost to the local populations. The disruptive impact of mining raw materials is the focus of a new documentary, one that exposes a very dark side of our world today.
In Cerro de Pasco, Peru, locals are exposed to heavy metals via tap water, thanks to Swiss mining company Glencore’s gigantic open-cast mine that extracts zinc, silver, and lead for the world market. La Rinconada, a tiny village in the Andes that is now home to over 50,000 people, has been gripped by gold fever for ten years, and is now a vast garbage dump with rubbish piled up for miles at the town’s entry. The price of a boom in raw materials comes at a high risk, and the documentary aims to shine a spotlight on this silent and hazardous destruction that impacts our global population.