Santiago High School's Student News Site

Shark Attack

Santiago High School's Student News Site

Shark Attack

Santiago High School's Student News Site

Shark Attack

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Blood Minerals

In the Congo, a humanitarian crisis is happening funded by the Western world
Blood Minerals

The Democratic Republic of Congo is filled with the mineral known as Cobalt and is the world’s top producer. Cobalt is used in many different electronics like laptops, phones, and even the rechargeable batteries within electric vehicles. The need for this mineral has caused slave-like labor, with people being forced to work in dangerous conditions, including children, to mine for Cobalt just being paid a mere few dollars a day. Children have been seen using their bare hands to dig up the dirt to get to the minerals they are being forced to find. Fumes released from Cobalt are toxic to humans and have even contaminated their local water supplies. These mines are illegal but continue to be used as the money from Cobalt is well enough for people’s greed to take over.

Cobalt mine workers in the Congo

 This situation is very similar to the blood diamond situation in Africa, including but not limited to Angola, The Democratic Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone, and Liberia. These countries have an abundance of diamonds that they sell to countries like America, but the diamonds are mined through war, death, and slavery. Rough working conditions aren’t the only issues occurring in the Congo as murder, rape, and war crimes are commonly being committed by rebel groups, with Rwanda even deploying its army to aid the rebel group known as M23.

This rebel group is ruthless and targets innocent civilians, including women and children, with cases of women being raped by multiple different people in front of their own families. In 2022 alone, roughly 38,000 cases of Gender Violence were reported, including some instances happening within IDP camps (Internally Displaced People), which are supposed to keep these civilians protected from these horrendous crimes.

Furthermore, people inside these camps do not have access to Post-Exposure Prophylaxis kits, which prevent HIV from spreading through the body and must be taken within 72 hours of when a person first contracts HIV. With how many sex crimes happen, HIV has been expected and can kill people if not treated properly and thoroughly.  

An IDP camp

Civilians in the Congo are being treated like they aren’t even human. They have no access to proper medical care, they are being raped frequently by power-hungry rebel groups, and in other cases killed by the masses. The Democratic Republic of Congo is a war zone that is not fit for human life, with a majority of the issue being because of technology.

In first-world countries like America, people treat technology like a necessity, creating a massive industry for Cobalt. With the Congo being a 3rd world country, people see it as a way to escape poverty. We barely ever recognize these crimes committed over there but continue to use products created from the death and enslaved person labor of the Congolese people.

Next time you buy a phone, vape, electric car, batteries, television, or computer, remember that wars are going on just for you to obtain these products.

M23 Rebel Group

 

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About the Contributor
Kingston Holcomb, Staff Writer
Kingston Holcomb (11) is a current Junior at Santiago High School, where his favorite subjects are Science and Language Arts, with plans to apply to CSULB this school year. Kingston was born and raised in Corona, California. As a child, he was always interested in science, specifically chemistry. His greatest accomplishment was when he was in 5th grade; he ran 560 miles in one school year. He now most enjoys traveling to different places and has been to 30 states. His biggest interest now is cinematography, as he would like to start screenwriting. He has started writing a horror novel with hopes of releasing it one day. He has aspirations to one day be able to give back to the world by helping impoverished towns in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, South America, and the Balkans by providing food, water, and resources to grow food. You may reach Kingston with comments, ideas, and inquiries at [email protected].
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