A small segment of this week's edition of The IKN Weekly:
Colombia: Government versus Paramilitary at BuriticáLast week we reported how the far-right wing “Urabeño” paramilitary group (also known as the “Úsuga Clan”) had issued a formal death threat communique against personnel of Continental Gold (CNL.to). This week we note that the Colombian government has not been slow to respond: Firstly, in several actions against the paramilitary group the government claims to have arrested (9) 135 Úsuga members including the people responsible for the murder of three police officers at the end of last month (at the same time, a separate grande attack in Buriticá left four police officers seriously injured (10) (11). Secondly, President Santos has named the head of the Úsuga/Urabeños clan, one Dairo Antonio Úsuga David, as the country’s most wanted man and doubled the reward for information leading to his capture to 3 billion pesos (U$1m and loose change).The Santos government is playing hardball with the threat posed by this paramilitary group and as part of the back-story, we’re now getting another raft of “illegal gold trade now worth more to criminal groups than drugs trade” articles, a theme that comes round on occasion and is complete BS of course, but there’s no doubt the criminal bands are behind at least some of the illegal gold mining activity and they’re using it to help launder their ill-gotten gains. In sum it’s a situation that may or may not turn out well for CNL.to and we certainly applaud the Santos government for not backing down. They’re doing the right thing by confronting the Úsuga/Urabeños but the reality of today’s situation must also be recognized; the political and social risk of working Buriticá continues to be off-scale high until the problems are resolved.Don’t expect to read or hear about this in any of the CNL corporate presentations.