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He does this again later, but as that third tangent feeds off these two and comes after the main story is done, it can be ignored. Fortunately the rest of the book is a strong and exciting read. Knight is a believable protagonist, as are the supporting cast of priests, other lawyers, cops, secretaries, and a Chinese-American actor named Harry who, along with ex-IRA gunman, make up his team. The gangsters of the rival Boston mobs are a bit broad and at times over-the-top, but they need to be; they need to mouth the stock yet expected deadly threats and crude jests, if only to flesh out their characters.

Deadly Diamonds is an exciting, well-written, colorful, and thoroughly delightful gangster story, one fit to sit on a shelf between the works of Breslin and Puzo. Reviewed by Mark McLaughlin Fall This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the author for this review.

Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Within weeks these fields were swamped with ordinary Zimbabweans and miners and dealers from further a field. Here's a picture of an illegal crowd coming in. That's a South African numberplate. The youngsters from the village were selling bottles of water, a bottle of water a diamond.

So it was quite extraordinary what was happening. Sefus, as I'll call him, was one of the estimated 15, to 20, people drawn to Chiadzwa at the start of the stampede paying a commission to police to be there. Like many people in this story, he was willing to talk, but only if his identity was protected.

Sefus says he watched as Reserve Bank officials arrived in Chiadzwa to buy gems from one and all. They used to come in trucks with cash in sealed boxes and a police escort. They'd say they were licensed to buy these things - diamonds. Only the Reserve Bank can because they know where the stones are going.

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We know the value of the diamonds at Chiadzwa, that they can look after this country very well without even looking at external borrowing or something. Tribal leader Newman Chiadzwa says that while many community members were at first willing to mine for the government, that soon changed as the police abused their power. If you take the diamonds confiscated from me by the government, it was over 10kg. And that 10kg were only produced in one week, by less than 20 people.


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At the same time, Zimbabwe's political landscape was also changing. President Robert Mugabe was being pushed into signing a power-sharing agreement with his political foes. Without the patronage of the army he looked like losing power completely. That was the era of hyper inflation and you could walk around with wheelbarrows of Zimbabwean currency and still pay nothing. So Mugabe needed a way to buy the loyalty of the army. He believes Mugabe devised a plan to keep the army on side. What better way than allow units to rotate through Marange, get their two weeks of picking up diamonds and selling them and he thought that that would be a perfect way of maintaining the loyalties backing, the army's backing of the Mugabe government.

But first the military had to gain control of the fields. In late October last year, Operation No Return was launched. Farai Maguwu from Zimbabwe's Centre for Research and Development has been investigating what happened next. The first week of November marked the turning point in these atrocities which were being committed by the state security agents. This is a time when the military replaced the police. When they went in, what was their brief? What do you think they were ordered to do? Zimbabwe's helicopter gunships launched a massacre, according to scores of credible witnesses.

Human Rights Watch and eye witnesses say hundreds of people were gunned down. Sefus says he was there. They were shooting from a helicopter, and on the ground.

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The helicopter was in the air. Then the helicopter landed and they got out and continued shooting. Human rights investigators say this photo shows one of the many bodies that began accumulating in hospital morgues. They never said anything. They'd just shoot and leave the body. Relatives would come and get the victim and say "Our kin has been wounded.

We can't leave them here. I'm taken to a cemetery on the outskirts of Mutare. It's close to an army base so we have to move quickly. Human rights investigators have uncovered a paper trail tracing the bodies from Chiadzwa to morgues and hospitals and finally to this spot.

deadly diamonds of death

These documents reveal scores of unnamed bodies were brought here. It is unknown, unknown. And also the cause of death is written NA, not applicable. Unknown, unknown, you see, a lot of these papers, unknown, unknown. These two men are too frightened to be identified, but they show me to what they say is the cemetery's grisly secret.

There were prisoners from Mutare Farm prison who prepared this grave and they were the same prisoners who did the burial. The true death toll is not yet known but Human Rights Watch say it's uncovered proof of more than deaths - local researchers say it could be double that. And they believe blame for the massacre can be traced to the highest levels of the Mugabe regime. Yes, the authorities are denying, but it is true. There are people, I think if it is at all allowed, we can.

Yes, exhume the bodies. You can't deny, the truth is the truth. People are there in the graves. We are still putting together evidence because we believe action has to be taken against the perpetrators of these gross human rights violations and just two days ago we interviewed a woman who was mauled by dogs in November, and until now, the scars are all over her body. This is that woman. A year-old widow who says she was attacked on her first and only visit to Chiadzwa to sell clothes to the panners. With helicopters in the air, police and soldiers on foot and on horseback - the dog squad was also set loose.

A dog caught me and pulled me down. I was on the ground and the policeman ordered the dog "Go for her hands. They'd let them bite me, then pull them back. Eye witnesses say the violence and shootings continued for weeks. Those detained were beaten and tortured, and women were raped. This woman, who does not want to be identified had also gone to Chiadzwa with clothes to sell.

We were caught by the soldiers, me and two friends. The soldiers were beating detainees at will and doing whatever they wanted. They told us to sleep with the men if we wanted to go home.

Deadly Diamonds

We couldn't do anything, so we slept with the men. The soldiers stood and watched, laughing. Throughout the entire security operation, no civilian was above suspicion, including those living in the nearby city of Mutare. So first session give or take - 12 or 15 strikes. The next session maybe eight when I still felt pain, the third session maybe another 8 or 10, and I had no more pain.

He says that for two days, he was held in a cage along with scores of others. He was only let out to be flogged. I regard myself as being abducted from a police station in Mutare. Taken straight to the police, to Chiadzwa, for flogging. When they asked me in Chiadzwa are you a diamond dealer, that's about all they could ask me and no more.

They beat me when I denied that I was. Hospital records confirm the months of brutality on the mine field which eventually left it fully under military control. But soldiers were soon providing more than security. Hundreds of illegal miners were organised into syndicates to mine for the military. We go to the fields and bring diamonds, then we share, we share with them. According to an actual syndicate member, as each new military unit arrives, it takes over the mining teams run by the departing soldiers.

The syndicate never stops working. It will always continue to work. They take turns, one group of soldiers will spend two months, then they leave after two months. With entry to the district now severely restricted, Mugabe's ministers deny the massacre and other human rights abuses ever took place. At this Mining Conference in the capital Harare, the nightmare in Chiadzwa is far from people's minds. Zimbabwe's new unity government is trying to paint a rosy picture to attract foreign investment.

I cannot overemphasize the advantage we have in the mineral wealth. What we crave for is the capacity to exploit that wealth. Obert Mpofu is a Mugabe loyalist and recent appointee to the position of Mines Minister. He's told Parliament only three people died at Chiadzwa - victims of internal strife - and he's unrepentant about the government's decision to bring in the military. No, we moved in and we don't regret having done that. We moved in through our police who were supported by our military because of the magnitude of the invasion by the diamond panners.

And that has been achieved, the panners have been cleared. Authorities at every level continue to proclaim their innocence. And President Robert Mugabe insists that all mining in Zimbabwe is totally above board. The sanctity of property rights and the rule of law in all its dimensions are fully respected. Andrew Cranswick would like to believe Robert Mugabe but watching this video filmed recently on his claim, he's shocked. This it totally illegal. And they are aware of it to have the attorney-general's opinion. They all have senior attorney-generals opinion, which is the government's own lawyer stating in categorically that they have to no title there.


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And have no right to be here.