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At the heart of a valley surrounded by mountains similar to the afghan ones, Cuatro Horas is a kind of lost arch, after four hours walking from Chaparra. In this mining community where 2500 souls are living, gold is a relief for those who try to escape their condition.
Whoever they are : people coming from the overpopulated slums of Lima ; peasants owning a land, which hardly feeds them, when the harvest is not good ; or migrants who discovered this place after many years spent in the kingdoms of violence and corruption that are the informal mining cities of the Andes mountains or of the Amazone.
Together they try to build a city which would not suffer of the social diseases commonly associated with the gold trade, in a place where miners were working without any rights few years ago.
« Cuatro Horas is a social laboratory carefully watched by the 250 000 small-scale miners of Peru. At the very beginning, there was nothing but illegal mines. Then the miners start to organise themselves into a cooperative organization and could get electricity, water or pay salaries for teachers, thanks to their production », Olinda Orozco, member of the Red social NGO, tells. « Today the city is an exemple showing that it is possible to get gold without the social diseases affecting similar cities, like prostitution or alcoolism ». After coffee and cotton, could the gold trade be fair ?
This webdocumentary was a nominee for the RFI-France 24 prize at visa pour l'image-Perpignan