Catapista finished his Masters in Global Criminology at the University of Utrecht. After a fieldwork period of 9 months in Colombia, he wrote his thesis – Digging Deeper in El Dorado.
Business and social issues cross each other while the concept of CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) becomes increasingly accepted. Exactly at this intersection, corporations implement CSR policies. In the meanwhile, there is an increase in the attention given to the crimes of the powerful in criminology. The main focus lies on crimes by states and corporations. This thesis focusses on the large-scale gold mining industry in Colombia and the CSR that is promoted by the three studied companies, with a special focus on the role the Colombian state has in the emergence of this sector in the country. The research aims to answer the following question: To what extent does the CSR discourse of gold mining TNCs in Colombia and the state-corporate intentions behind gold mining match the social practices of these corporations. In the case of a mismatch, what is the rationality behind this? The thesis suggests that CSR can be used, and in the encountered data concerning three companies is used, to neutralize an existing gap between CSR and practice. Exactly in this gap exists space to manoeuvre relatively unnoticed for the state-corporate actors, while inflicting harm and conducting illegal behaviour.