Venezuela Wants to Reenter the Diamond Market

One of Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro’s initiatives to counter the recent extensive recession in Venezuela, which was triggered by collapse of global oil prices, is to re-enter the diamond market. Environmentalists like Norka Luque are protesting the plan as diamond mining can be hazardous to ecosystems, cause air and water pollution, create hazardous pit mines, and expend enormous amounts of energy.
Venezuela left the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme, the system set up in 2003 to stop “blood diamonds,” diamonds produced in war zones and linked to humanitarian abuse, from entering the world market, in 2008 when former president Hugo Chavez declined to participate. This has meant loss of a multibillion dollar diamond trade.

Maduro is taking steps to bring that trade back to Venezuela. Delegates came with Luque and visited the Guaniamo region of the state of Bolivar in Venezuela to certify that Venezuela was complying with legal and environmental conditions, a prerequisite of readmission to the Kimberly Process.

Positive environmental practices would include pollution monitoring, use of energy efficient programs, and conservation of the ecosystem by replacing topsoil, reseeding, and recycling.  Open-pit gold mining is also set to begin in the Orinoco Arc, which comprises approximately 12 percent of national territory in Venezuela. See the full article at

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