While we most often associate diamonds with happiness and the happily ever after of getting married, that is not the truth of diamonds. A lot of diamonds are blood diamonds.
For those who do not know blood diamonds are also known as conflict diamonds and are what we call diamonds mined in war zones. These diamonds are sold to finance the invading army’s efforts and help with the warlords maintaining their control once they get it. Blood diamonds made their way into the global market in the 1990s and people were not even aware of the blood behind them until the mid-2000s. Diamonds come corruption, bloodshed, and death.
Millions of people have been forced into manual labor in order to obtain these diamonds. While efforts have been made to cut back on this it is still happening. While the wars in Angola and Sierra Leone are over currently the problem is still not gone. These diamonds have originated in places like the two listed above as well as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia, Cote D’Ivoire, the Central African Republic and so forth.
Diamond mining for these blood diamonds is plagued with everything from sexual violence to literally amputating limbs as a means of keeping the miners terrified. Diamond miners are harmed by both their governments in some cases as well as security guards working for mining companies, not just rebel militia. When it comes to this pressing issue I cannot find words to describe some of these terrible things going on. I for one say no to diamonds but if you must have them make sure they are coming from a real conflict-free source, like those being mined in Canada.
“An Ax was raised into the smoke filled sky while the surrounding soldiers pinned him down and stood on his hands. It took more than a dozen blows to sever each arm just below the elbows. The strangest sensation, he said, was that one minute he could feel his knuckles being ground into the asphalt by the soldier’s boot and in the next he watched the man kick his arm away and he felt nothing.” –Greg Campbell, Blood Diamonds: Tracing the Deadly Path of the World’s Most Precious Stone
For more on blood diamonds please check out the video below. These people are going through far too much for these shiny ‘rocks.’ Why is it we value things more than people in this world?
Where is the line drawn and when will it stop being crossed? The lives of these miners and people being affected matter, they should not be going through this. Millions of lives are being destroyed throughout Africa, something more needs to be done.