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Colombia's gold rush

Colombia's gold rush | Geography 400 at ric | Scoop.it
Gold fever is sweeping across South America and is at its most lethal in Colombia where it is fuelling the civil war.

 

 Colombia's gold mines are bringing out greed in all nations. Civilian wars are breaking out over the gold. Native people are scared and fleeing their homes. The Colombian government has to watch closely over who is working the mines. The government does not want miners without licenses in the mines, because the government will not be paid royalties on the gold.

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Elizabeth Allen's comment, December 6, 2012 10:30 PM
Colombia's gold mines are bringing out greed in all nations. Civilian wars are breaking out over the gold. Native people are scared and fleeing their homes. The Colombian government has to watch closely over who is working the mines. The government does not want miners without licenses in the mines, because the government will not be paid royalties on the gold.
Al Picozzi's curator insight, September 29, 2013 4:58 PM

The war has now shifted from Cocaine to Gold.  Seems that alot of the planters when from planting cocaine to mining for gold...illegally according to the Columbian government.  The government is taking land from the native people and taking for themselves in order to get big business, especially foregin owned ones, to invest in their country.  Does it south familar.  It should.  1874, Black Hills in the then Dakota territory of the US.  Seems gold was found on Native American land..an expedition led by George Armstrong Custer confirmed gold was there...which led to..native Americans being forefully moved from their land into the Montana territory..which eventully led to the 1876 Great Sioux War in which Custer was killed and eventaully the Sioux and the Lakota and the Cheyenne being defeated by 1877.  Seems there is a parallel going on in South America.  Looks like the old axiom of those that do not learn history are doomed to repeat it proves itself correct again.

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, October 20, 2014 11:58 AM

In countries where the government is not as stable as most, the demand for gold makes people willing to literally go to war over mines in Colombia. In the 1990s there was a large outrage about "blood diamonds" out of Africa. This reminds me of that. In the developing world we are seeing horrible circumstances arising to gain wealth and provide a valuable commodity to the highest bidders. 

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Brazil's economy overtakes UK's

Brazil's economy overtakes UK's | Geography 400 at ric | Scoop.it
Brazil has overtaken the UK as the world's sixth largest economy, the Centre for Economics and Business Research says.

 

The "BRIC" countries are surging forward and are seen as major players in the global economy (Brazil, Russia, India and China). Brazil just recently past the U.K. as the 6th largest economy.  China passed Japan not more than a year ago.    Furthermore, Russia and India are poised to pass the traditional European economic powers (U.K., Germany, France and Italy) by 2020.  In this restructuring of the global economy, what will the impacts be on various regions of the world? 

 

The statistics prove that Brazil is higher ranking economically that the UK. Brazil is succeeding economically. It must have to with their natural resources and financial gains of exporting goods.  Brazil is economically expanding.  Elizabeth Allen


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Cam E's curator insight, February 11, 2014 11:46 AM

BRIC has always interested me as an alternative to the traditional centers of economic power. The four BRIC countries are all powerful up and comers and their positioning all around the world and lack of cultural commonality make them a very intriguing force.

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, October 20, 2014 11:55 AM

The rise of the BRIC countries shows that the global economy is changing due to globalization. Now that transportation is cheaper, communication is more fluid, and economies can intermingle easier than before, countries can be more competitive with previous economic powers. I find it interesting that it is likely that in the next century we will see the US slipping further down this list.

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, October 1, 2015 8:01 AM

While this may seem surprising, this event should not be taken as such. Countries such as China, Russia, India and Brazil are becoming more powerful with the passing of each day. The biggest challenges to the United States are China and Russia. They are the only nations who can compete with us on both a political and economic scale. Russia is currently causing the most issues. Putin is an agitator on the world stage. I truly believe that it is his desire to recreate the great Russian Empire of old. His continued medaling around the globe will be a serious threat for the foreseeable future. China is the longer term threat. They are the only ones who possess the economic abilities to compete with us. Brazil and India, while growing are still not any were near us in terms of political or economic strength. Our government should do all it can, to foster good relationships with these nations. Especially sense are relationships with China and Russia are problematic at the moment.

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Brazilian Ethanol

Brazilian Ethanol | Geography 400 at ric | Scoop.it

"Distilling ethanol from tropical sugarcane takes less land and uses less fossil fuel than starting with corn grown in temperate climes. That makes Brazilian ethanol, unlike the pampered and grotesquely wasteful American version, competitive with hydrocarbons and genuinely good for the environment." 

 

Although ethanol is working well for Brazil, there is a growing literature supporting the idea that wide-scale ethanol production is not sustainable or environmentally beneficial.  This is a great example to demonstrate that economic and environmental policies are locally dependent on geographic factors and are not universally transferable.  For a simple explanation of the differences in the economic and environmental differences in the production of sugar and corn-based ethanol, see: http://cei.org/studies-issue-analysis/brazilian-sugarcane-ethanol-experience  

 

Interesting information. Like anything the pros and cons need to be weighed by the experts. Everyone would love a low price alternative for fuel, but the environmental risks may be too high. Elizabeth Allen


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Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 8, 2014 11:25 AM

Brazil is taking advantage of its natural resources to make themselves competitive in the global market. Today geography can change the shape of the economics around the globe. The prospect of economic growth and energy competitiveness has made them short sighted.  Brazil has to beware of becoming a mono-commodity country that relies on a business that is not sustainable.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 14, 2014 7:35 PM

While only Brazil is taking part in this and it hasn't completely replaced gasoline it is without a doubt a step in the right direction that hopefully other nations can learn from. While the hypotheses over how much oil fluctuates it is undeniable it isn't a permanent solution, the future of fuel must lie in renewal resources. Unfortunately oil companies hold so much sway in politics its unknown how much change is actually possible today. Regardless of this hopefully one day the world as a whole will realize this and seek to emulate Brazil's in innovation.

Taylor S's curator insight, March 23, 7:58 PM

It is being said that the use of Brazilian, sugarcane produced ethanol is an effective means of self-sustainable energy, more officiant then the corn produced products. the reason this relates to my 5 year plan is due to the proposal that this energy can be used to reduce the emissions given off by different industries and provide clean energy. I believe that this is important as it would reduce the type of impact these organisations have on the environment.

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In Honduras, Police Accused Of Corruption, Killings

The Central American nation is the most violent country in the world, according to the United Nations. A mix of drug trafficking, political instability and history adds up to a murder rate that is now four times that of Mexico.

 

Corruption is inflicting Honduras. There are many factors causing this. High drug trafficking, poor governemnt system, and high murder rates. to hear that anywhere has a higher murde rate than Mexico- is astounding. And further, to know that many murders at at the hands of police is disturbing. Affiliation in gangs and gang warfare is costing lives. The police seem crooked, so I cannot imagine crime rate will decline anytime soon. It must be bad if the Peace Corp has vacated. According to BBC News, a politician running for office is offering free burials for those that cannot afford them.  Honduras violent death rate is 1 every 74 minutes. And the police do not punish criminals....   Elizabeth Allen


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Paige Therien's curator insight, February 11, 2014 1:36 PM

Honduras' role in the drug trafficking industry has increased immensely which does not mix well with their already corrupt government and police force.  However, a history of U.S. aid and security "support" is what rooted this country in violence.  Honduras' situation is spiraling out of control because the drug trafficking industry has taken advantage of its already weak state.

Amy Marques's curator insight, February 12, 2014 10:55 PM

In the news we sometimes hear about violence taking place at the border of the US and Mexico, but you never hear of the violence in Honduras. With a mix of drug trafficking, corruption, political instability and history has led to a murder rate that is now four times that of Mexico., which is pretty hard to think of since there Mexico already has a high muder right. The situation has gotten so bad that the Peace Corps has withdrawn its volunteers.

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, September 24, 2015 6:53 AM

While Mexico gets all the bad press when it comes to violence and police corruption, Honduras is actually a  more violent place to be. The murder rate in the nation is four times that of Mexico. Like Mexico, the rule of law in Honduras is quite questionable. Most of the nations police force is corrupt. Many police officers are  on the payrolls of drug lords and gangs. Average citizens have no respect for law enforcement, which they view as an extension of the drug trade. A country without  the rule of law, will descend into anarchy. This situation is playing out in Honduras, to the detriment of its people.

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In Venezuela Housing Crisis, Squatters Find 45-Story Walkup

In Venezuela Housing Crisis, Squatters Find 45-Story Walkup | Geography 400 at ric | Scoop.it
An unfinished skyscraper occupied by squatters is a symbol of Venezuela’s financial crisis in the 1990s, state control of the economy and a housing shortage.

 

This skyscraper that was once a symbol of wealth, in an incredible paradigm shift, has now become is occupied by squatters. The lack of a vibrant formal economy and more formal housing leads to a lack of suitable options for many urban residents--especially with problems in the rural countryside. A complex web of geographic factors needs to be explained to understand this most fascinating situation. The video link "Squatters on the Skyline" embedded in the article is a must see.

 

Truly amazing. People and businesses occupying an un-safe government owned building. I give them credit for what they have achieved in attempt to survive. The government is obviously falling short in the promise to supply low-income housing. This building was to symbolize "mettle" proving Caracas to be a courageous capital, now it describes the people left to live there. It is sad to see the deplorable conditions that the people are left to live or in, or even worse, to die in. 

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Maegan Connor's curator insight, December 17, 2013 5:34 PM

The video we watched of the squatters living in an unfinished skyscraper was unlike anything I've ever seen before. In a country with such high population rates and a housing shortage, people have gotten creative and made homes in this 45 story building where they share what would have been office spaces and bathrooms.  Over 2,500 people have moved into the dilapidated skyscraper and made a home out of it for their families. They have rigged electricity that the government does not provide for them and built small stores on almost every floor.  The people have not been evicted because the government of Venezuela knows of the housing shortages, yet does not fix it.  

I feel ashamed that a country with so many oil resources has such high rates of poverty and no one is fixing it.  It shows the corruption in the government through an extreme although innovative example.

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, February 17, 2014 10:46 AM

The problems in Venezuela with housing and the lack of response to the problem by the government has led people to become squatters.  The using of the abandoned buildings was a good idea by the original squatters.  The vacant buildings can house many of the countries it is a shame that the government did not think of this solution to the housing problem and vacant building first, if they had, they could have made sure they were safer for the residence.  The idea of a vertical city springing up in this building is also an interesting one.  Not only are squatters living in these buildings but creating businesses and other services for the residence.

Jess Deady's curator insight, February 18, 2014 1:02 PM

In life, I constantly find myself comparing situations with what I read and what I know. Imagine this skyscraper is the Prudential in Boston. How could something meant to be so great fall to its death (and to peoples literal deaths)? One day there is a massive financial building occupied with bankers and lavishness. The next day there is a skyscraper in the form of a house. Housing shortages are happening everywhere and Venezuela is being hit hard in this situation. Imagine visiting this country and asking where someone lives? "Oh, I live in the Tower of David, which used to mean a whole lot more."