24 June 2019

Africa: Forbidden Stories - Mines' Dirty Secrets Echo On Three Continents

analysis

The Green Blood series pursued the investigations of several reporters who faced threats when covering possible environmental damage and other abuses by mining companies. Reporting on environmental issues can cost journalists their jobs, the land they live on and even their lives. The more journalists cover these issues aggressively, the more they are provoking powerful interests that will retaliate and block access to information. This is particularly true of the mining industry. For the first time, 40 journalists from 15 countries organised by Forbidden Stories were able to go into the field, track supply chains and use open source tools to look into mines in India, Tanzania and Guatemala that once tried to cover up their activities.

Indian reporter Jagendra Singh posted his last contribution to his Facebook page - where he regularly published his reporting - on 1 June 2015. He had been posting for over a month about local politician Rammurti Singh Verma and his alleged ties to illegal sand mining, which the United Nations has identified as a major environmental threat. That day, Singh was brought to the hospital with burns over 50% of his body.

"The mother-fuckers poured petrol on me. They jumped over the wall...

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