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Revista Facultad Nacional de Salud Pública

Print version ISSN 0120-386XOn-line version ISSN 2256-3334


DOMINGUEZ-RAVE, Sara Lucía; TORRA-RUIZ, Laura Cristina; ROMERO- BEJARANO, Lady Rocío  and  LOPEZ-ARANGO, Yolanda Lucía. Participatory assessment of socio-environmental and health impacts in gold mining: Buriticá (Antioquia), Colombia. Rev. Fac. Nac. Salud Pública [online]. 2020, vol.38, n.3, e338882.  Epub Dec 01, 2020. ISSN 0120-386X.


To determine the assessment of Buriticá’s (Antioquia) inhabitants on the socio-environmental and health impacts of gold mining activity in the region.


Mixed method research study with a qualitative and quantitative approach, with the participation of officials from the Mayor’s Office, inhabitants of rural areas and the municipal area, and administrative personnel and operators of a mining association in the municipality in the process of legalization. The actors identified, assessed, prioritized and categorized the perceived impacts, for which the modified Leopold (1971) and Empresas Públicas de Medellín-Arboleda (1985) methods were used.


The migration of miners to Buriticá generated informal gold mining that in turn generated: critical impacts (76-100 points) in terms of water contamination, culture shock, loss of identity, increased alcoholism, drug addiction, prostitution and crime; severe impacts (50-75 points) in terms of the collapse of public services, appearance of pests, high-risk buildings, felling of trees and animal migration; positive impacts, such as an increase in the sense of belonging of indigenous people, an increase in commerce and employment, and hospital training to overcome conditions of installed capacity in the face of emergency care, trauma, accidents and poisoning.


The mining boom caused impacts identified by different actors: these visualized that the increase in the foreign population is not only one of the most significant impacts that have occurred from mining, but is also the cause of many others that have emerged in the three components evaluated (social, environmental and health).

Keywords : gold mining; environmental impact assessment; social impact assessment; health assessment; Buriticá (Antioquia).

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