I have talked on this blog before about blood diamonds, blood coltan and blood gold, the nightmare in Congo and covering some of the horrors of the gold industry - well now comes a campaign from Avaaz in response to Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe seizing control of his country's diamond fields and using the profits from our wedding rings and jewelry to finance a vicious political militia.
The group of countries that regulate the global diamond trade are right now meeting in Namibia to decide whether to suspend Mugabe and stop him selling his blood diamonds on the world market.
We have must act now - all diamond producing countries know that their profits are dependent on the brand reputation of diamonds, and that increasing awareness of "blood diamonds" threatens that brand. A massive global petition will show them that the diamond-buying public is demanding action. Zimbabwe's diamonds used to be mined by local people. But in the last several months, Mugabe's thugs have brutally taken over, murdering up to 200 civilians. An international investigation in July found "horrific violence against civilians".
The profits from these blood diamonds are being used to finance a political militia that has already killed thousands of Zimbabweans, and threatens the fragile unity government in the country. Letting Mugabe keep these diamonds could finance a whole new war.
All of us are learning the ways in which our decisions about what we buy and do can affect the lives of our fellow human beings half a world away. An engagement ring should be something given and worn out of love, let's tell diamond regulators to keep it that way: