Blood Diamond

 

A trailer for the forthcoming movie ‘Blood Diamond,’ starring Leonardo DiCaprio, has been released.  The trailer shows violent fighting, helicopters, jeeps, explosions and a young child aiming a gun at DiCaprio.  Set to somber music, a voice-over intones “…all who touch it are left with blood on their hands.”

 

Though no historical context is given, the movie depicts events that took place during the 1990s civil war in Sierra Leone.  The diamond industry, led by the World Diamond Council, has been actively preparing for the film’s release in December.  A website, www.diamondfacts.org, was established to show what steps have been taken in recent years to stamp out ‘blood diamonds.’ 

 

Cecilia Gardner, general counsel for the WDC says it is up to the industry to put things in perspective:  "The violence depicted is horrific and this is exactly why the industry responded in the way that it did close to the time that these events were occurring.” says Gardner.  "We want to make sure nothing like this ever happens again, and that's why we worked so hard on the Kimberley Process and the system of warranties."

 

The Kimberly Process, a United Nations resolution targeting areas of illicit diamond trade, went into effect in 2003.  Since that time the amount of “conflict diamonds” on the world market has been reduced from an estimated 4% to less than 1%.

 

Gardner feels educating consumers is in the diamond trade’s best interest:  “We think it's important to bring historical context to the movie so people know what's happened since that time.”

 

 

 

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