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You may have never heard of it.
Until the 1990s, coltan was a commodity that had little commercial value, but today it is a key component of the one billion cell phones in use today.
The demand for cell phones is creating enormous demand for coltan.
Coltan comes from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where rival armies battle over coltan deposits, a dull metallic ore found in the eastern areas of the country.
People are killing over coltan, and you may be footing the bill with your platinum credit card.
Cell phones and other consumer luxuries are fueling violent warfare in developing countries — so says a study from the Worldwatch Institute, a research organization based in Washington, D.C. Most of this violence is directed against civilians, and the details are horrifying. Fighters are hacking off arms and legs to terrorize local populations ... they are turning young boys into child soldiers and girls into sex slaves ... they are employing child and slave labor to extract the ...