The Colombian department of Boyaca is located in the eastern side of the Colombian Andes Mountain and is the location where most of the emerald mining takes place. Since the 16th century, small mining towns such as Muzo, Chivor, Otanche, Burbor, Peñas Blancas and Cozcues hide between the astonishing mountains that dominate the landscape where the emeralds still can be found. However, the green and peaceful landscapes that command the region of Boyaca hide a terrible history of war, massacre and corruption due to the mafia groups who tried to take advantage of the beauty and value of the emeralds.
Colombian Photographer Juan Pablo Ramirez is a former professional tennis player who, since a young age, grew up travelling the world and experiencing different cultures and ways of living. In 2015, he graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in journalism. He has worked for some of the most prestigious newspapers in the state of Minnesota, such as the StarTribune and the Pioneer Press, with most of his work focused on photojournalism and documentary.
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