Rape of a Nation by Marcus Bleasdale

MediaStorm: Rape of a Nation by Marcus Bleasdale (warning: graphic images)

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is home to the deadliest war in the world today. An estimated 5.4 million people have died since 1998, the largest death toll since the Second World War, according to the International Rescue Committee (IRC).IRC reports that as many as 45,000 people die each month in the Congo. Most deaths are due to easily preventable and curable conditions, such as malaria, diarrhea, pneumonia, malnutrition, and neonatal problems and are byproducts of a collapsed healthcare system and a devastated economy.

The people living in the mining towns of eastern Congo are among the worst off. Militia groups and government forces battle on a daily basis for control of the mineral-rich areas where they can exploit gold, coltan, cassiterite and diamonds.

After successive waves of fighting and ten years of war, there are no hospitals, few roads and limited NGO and UN presence because it is too dangerous to work in many of these regions. The West’s desire for minerals and gems has contributed to a fundamental breakdown in the social structure.

4 thoughts on “Rape of a Nation by Marcus Bleasdale

  1. I wish there was more that we could do individually to help. We deliberately avoided gold/diamonds in my wife’s wedding ring for that reason(she does have some very small diamonds in the band but they are lab grown) . I guess from an awareness standpoint, there is far more coverage dedicated to the subject than there was five or ten years ago…I’m sure that helps as people are becoming more aware of the conditions these people live under.

  2. i think that’s a huge thing, what you guys did. like the photographer was saying, the more people are aware and make decisions like that, the less incentive there will be to exploit the land and people.

  3. …did you know the only way they can tell a difference between lab grown diamonds and natural ones is that the lab grown ones are so perfect that figure there is no way they could be natural. That’s it- they are too perfect. Basically, you pay top dollar for a natural diamond that approaches the same quality of a perfect lab grown diamond that costs far less.

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