They called him the Gold Czar. In the lawless Colombian gold-mining town of Segovia, he was rarely spoken of in more than a whisper. But investigators were convinced he was behind the gangland killing of several local mine owners - a massacre that many believed was responsible for the nightmarish wave of violence that turned the town into one of the world's murder capitals. The question was: Could they prove it?
Journalist Nadja Drost traveled to Segovia in 2012 to investigate the murders herself, and spent the next year and a half immersed in a Wild West populated by motorbike-riding assassins, prostitutes paid in gold, and victims who turn out to be not so innocent - a place where the only law, as a paramilitary commander tells her, is that "the bigger fish eats the smaller fish." The Devil Underground is at once a gripping detective story, an intrepid dispatch from an underreported war, and a groundbreaking investigation into the sordid supply chain that produces the precious metal Americans wear on their fingers and around their necks.
Reported in partnership with The Investigative Fund at The Nation Institute.
©2014 Nadja Drost, The Atavist (P)2014 Nadja Drost, The Atavist