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The Guardian: Tarnished gold: why Peru's forced labor mining matters to the US
By Barbara Fraser
About one-fifth of the gold exported from Peru is illegally mined, with forced labor extracting much of the precious metal that ends up in cellphones, computers and jewelry, according to US nonprofit Verité. Peru's Andean mineral wealth has made it the world's sixth-largest gold producer and boosted it into the ranks of middle-income countries, but some miners have paid for the boom with their freedom – or their lives. Each year, between 16 and 20 metric tons of gold come out of unregulated "informal" mines, where concession holders pay no taxes and workers labor without contracts, benefits or safety gear. Many are held in near slavery, forced to repay ever-increasing debts to labor brokers, according to a new report by Verité, a US-based non-profit watchdog organization.
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