Angola: Centre interviews Rafael Marques, Angolan human rights journalist, on human rights violations by diamond companies & restrictions on his work as a defender
The Business & Human Rights Resource Centre had the opportunity to personally interview the renowned and award-winning Rafael Marques de Morais, a committed journalist and human rights defender. Rafael is internationally recognized for his important, courageous and tireless work denouncing, among other issues, human rights abuses and violations perpetrated by Angolan companies and generals in the exploitation of diamonds in Angola. Because of his denounces he has constantly been threatened and prosecuted. See more here. To read this story in Portuguese, click here.
The interview was held on 11 October in Brazil, during the visit of Rafael Marques de Morais, at the invitation of Agência Pública.
See below the brief interview in which Rafael talks about the relationship between Angolan diamond companies and Brazilian companies. He mentions, for example, recent abuses perpetrated by Sociedade Mineira do Cuango no Cafunfo, in a joint action with the state, to purchase land to expand its diamond mining operations. Marques claims that the compensation for land acquisition was inadequate, that there was destruction of crops, and caused a situation of eviction, hunger and difficulties of access to water for the local poor population.
In his words:
"...In many cases these communities are even forbidden to access the rivers to take water for consumption because there is no running water in the region. And note that, because of the diamonds, communities are increasingly impoverished and violence remains, not to the levels that occurred years ago when I wrote the book ‘Blood Diamond’..."
Rafael also commented on the constant restrictions and threats that he suffers to carry out his work as an investigative journalist and human rights defender.