The entire coltan mining and distribution chain in Venezuela operates cloaked in a haze of apparent legality, but is really nothing more than a completely criminal operation that we do not hesitate to categorize as “contraband,” and which involves mine operators, intermediaries and end customers. It operates like a mafia and includes generals and other officers of Venezuela’s National Bolivarian Armed Force (FANB), in addition to organized civilian groups that also participate in the commercialization of this precious ore, and are party to the smuggling activity connected with its extraction.
Nevertheless, Venezuela got off to a late start: it wasn’t until 2009 that President Chávez disclosed that there were “important” coltan reserves in the country. ‘That’s a mineral over which many wars have been fought in Africa, I don’t know how many, because it’s a strategic mineral, for building, among other things, these long-range rockets,’ he said.
“On that occasion, he did not specify projections regarding the reserves despite his assurances that they were ‘important.’ He also announced that the zone where the mineral was located, in the area of the Parguaza River in Bolívar, had been taken over militarily because the coltan was being mined illegally, and was being smuggled out.”
Source: Efecto Cocuyo (2016)
- Read the full report: “Coltan | The Venezuelan’s Regime Smuggling of “Blue Gold” 2020″
- Lea el informe completo: “Coltán: El contrabando del “Oro Azul” por el régimen en Venezuela”