|Title||Dirty Diamonds – Angola|
|Date released (year)||1996|
|Keywords/tags||Diamonds, Angola, mining, natural resources|
|Link to film|
Angola boasts the most dangerous and illegal diamond mines in the world.
From an aerial view, hundreds of men work like black ants on the crater ridden landscape. In small groups, bare chested, knee deep in murky water they seive gravel for hours until they spot the glitter of one tiny diamond. In town, we interview an illegal trader who compares diamond dealing to the blood diamond trade in a warzone. He takes out a small paper package from his trouser leg and slowly unwraps a cluster of uncut jewels. He carries them to bribe his way out of any difficult situations. The De Beers diamond cartel is keen to stop the illegal diamond trade. A spokesman maintains that most of Angola’s diamonds are smuggled out the country and are therefore denied to the people of Angola. “We would like to develop a first class diamond field and build a proper mining operation. In this way the country can be further developed.” Local mining companies depend on private security firms to guarantee their safety. While filming, bandits with grenade launchers and machine guns take our reporter by surprise. After much bargaining, she is finally allowed to leave the area
|Reviews/discussion||Since the Portugese left Angola in 1975, there’s been no peace in the country. The civil war between government troops and UNITA has left the country devastated. UNITA didn’t recognise the result of the elections in 1992 – and so the conflict goes on. Neither side find it difficult to buy weapons. They’re paid for in diamonds – the wealth of Angola. The country could be one of the most prosperous in Africa. It owns the most precious gem, but everyone is helping themselves to this fortune.The government loses at least 30 million US dollars a month through the illegal diamond trade. The diamond diggers are protected sometimes by the army or police – everyone wants to cream something off this profitable trade. Marion Mayer-Hodahl visits a dangerous illegal diamond digging area.|
|Links to other resources||Keith Harmon Snow and Rick Hines: “Blood Diamond: Doublethink and Deception Over Those Worthless Little Rocks of Desire,” Z Magazine, June and July 2007, and Blood Diamonds at <http://www.allthingspass.com/journalism.php?catid=48 >.
Rafael Marques, Rinsing the Blood from Angola’s Diamonds, Oxford University Africa Society, January 26, 2007.