The town of Marmato, in Central Colombia, sits on top a mountain of gold. Its people have been living off of it for centuries, mining the precious metal through mostly small scale, artisanal operations. But as the country is increasingly relying on its mineral resources to fuel the economy, multinational mining companies have set their sights on places like Marmato to install open air mines that would literally swallow the landscape.
According to some estimates, it would take about 20 years to extract all the gold from the mountain, wiping out the town and its 10,000 inhabitants in the process. The imminence of this news weighs heavily on the people of Marmato, who are organizing to fight back and prevent this from happening.
Correspondent Toby Muse traveled to the Colombian Andes Mountains to report on this story for Americas Now.