Land of Amber

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Title: Land of Amber
Director: Leticia Agudo and Alicia Arnandis
Year: 2014
Country: Mexico
Runtime: 53′
Language: Spanish
Subtitles: English


Mexican amber is found exclusively in the Simojovel region, State of Chiapas, in the South of Mexico. It’s hand extracted by indigenous men and children with hammers and chisels in tunnels dug into the mountainside. This rare and ancient amber can reach high prices in the international market, especially when animals or plants are found trapped inside. The miners own their own mines, or rent from other indigenous for a small monthly rate; they keep everything they find, but they cannot reach the top buyers directly. They can only get to resellers, traders, and jewellers who buy it from them at the lowest prices and make up to as much as 1000% profit when working it and selling to tourists and collectors. Now, there are new players in town: Chinese and US buyers are coming directly to the mines and paying top dollar. The old club of national jewellers complain of injustice and imbalance.

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