A recent article in Foreign Policy echoes our story in the Dec./Jan. issue on human rights abuses in Zimbabwe diamond fields. The article’s author calls out Angola, Congo, and Sierra Leone as the worst offenders in the diamond business, but says Zimbabwe represents the “perfect illustration of what the Kimberley Process [the watchdog group that’s supposed to prevent conflict diamonds from entering the diamond trade] was created to address as well as the difficulties in fulfilling that mandate.” As detailed in our writer’s first-hand account, diamond smugglers are able to move the Zimbabwe diamonds through Mozambique to make them appear clean to international dealers.
Back in November, armed with evidence from several human rights investigations, the Kimberley Process could have suspended all diamond mining in Zimbabwe. Instead, they came down soft and gave the country a grace period to clean up its act. Now the Human Rights Watch has called for consumers to boycott Zimbabwe diamonds. But, as has always been the problem with blood diamonds, how will consumers be able to tell?