Marcus Bleasdale
Rape of a Nation
September 7—October 21, 2011

Diamonds and gold — vast natural resources that could enrich a nation — are a curse in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where the Congolese people have suffered the largest death toll since the second world war.

The conflict between warlords and armed rebels for control of these resources have plunged the citizens into a life of poverty, sexual violence, and war. Some 45,000 people die each month as a result.

The actual miners who extract the sought-out treasures have no access to a living wage, societal safety, or simple medical care, while their leaders enrich themselves and allow the misery to continue.

Marcus Bleasdale traces how the west's consumer appetite for these resources have led to such sub-human conditions for the Congolese, and poses that we might make a difference — at the jewelry counter — simply by asking: where does that ring come from?

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