Venezuela rejoins global anti-‘blood diamonds’ group – by Girish Gupta (Reuters U.S. – November 18, 2016)

CARACAS – Venezuela has rejoined an international pact to curtail the smuggling of conflict diamonds, vowing to resume issuing export certificates to guarantee the minerals are not being used to finance war or violent activity.

The minerals-rich South American country stopped issuing export certificates in 2005 and unilaterally removed itself three years later as an active participant in the Kimberley Process. The international pact was set up in 2003 to curtail the diamond smuggling that was fueling civil wars in Africa, popularized as “blood diamonds.”

Members of Kimberley met this week in the United Arab Emirates and unanimously agreed to reincorporate the nation, the Venezuelan government said on Friday, in a potential boost to the OPEC country’s struggling economy.

“With this decision … the production and commercialization of Venezuelan diamonds will be devoted to the high standards of quality, solvency and security in world diamond activity,” said a statement from the Mining Ministry.

The news came as crisis-hit Venezuela seeks to stimulate mining investment in its southern, jungle-covered area that is rich in gold and diamonds.

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