Multinational gold mining company AngloGold Ashanti has sparked protests as it considers processing ore in a central Colombian town 50 miles west of the capital Bogota.

Hundreds of protesters gathered in Doima, a small town in the Tolima department, on the day before Christmas to demonstrate against their municipality of Piedras being considered for an AngloGold Ashanti gold ore processing plant. Protesters were concerned that gold ore processing, which uses large amounts of water and requires chemicals, often including cyanide, would diminish and pollute local water supplies.

“We only have one source of water, the river,” said one protestor. “If they pollute the river and streams it will be the end of everything […]. And we are scared because this is a big company doing business all around the world.”

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