Monday, 13 July 2009

Potosi, Bolivia

Potosi at 4060m is the highest city in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

It was founded by the Spanish because of the vast silver deposits nearby. For 200 years Potosi bankrolled the Spanish Empire. It is estimated that over 8 million indigenous people and imported slaves have perished in the mine. Even today thousands of Bolivians work under ground in dangerous conditions hoping to strike it big. And the sickest joke of all is that tourists pay between 10 and 15 dollars to visit the mines, see the suffering of the miners and then blow something up. I was ashamed that I met only 2 people who missed out on the mine tours because they felt similarly to me. Travellers, the LP and organised tours seemed to have robbed people of their own sense of what is right and what is exploitation.

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