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Posted Mon Mar 5 2012: from Center for Public Integrity:
Venezuela emerges as new source of "conflict" minerals
Black-market coltan likely making its way to high-tech manufacturers' supply; it's used in everything from smart phones to smart bombs... consumer-driven demand for everyday electronics may be supporting criminal gangs and organized crime in an illicit market for valuable minerals in South America. In Colombia, for example, police recently confiscated 83 tons of coltan and other minerals from an operation reportedly run by smugglers who, according to U.S. law enforcement officials, also supply cocaine to Mexico's powerful Sinaloa drug cartel.
[Read more stories about: contamination, health impacts, poverty]

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