Researchers and Advisors


Helcías José Ayala Mosquera  (Research Team Colombia)

He is a Mining Engineer and Specialist Assessor in Environmental Impacts, Coordinator of a Research Group “Biodiversity and ethno-development in the Colombian Pacific” Registered in Colciencias”. Currently, he's working in the Technical Secretariat of the Permanent Bureau for Responsible Mining in the Department of Chocó, participating in the conceptualization of ecological criteria and socio environmental Programs as Oro Verde (Green Gold). He has written scientific articles relating to the mining issues and perceptions of ethno-culture for the Environmental Research Institute of the Pacific in its Bioetnia Magazine also, expertise in the ethnical dynamics, territorial organization of the black communities in Chocó and the pacific. He supports the GOMIAM Project as a researcher and methodological development expert in the case study of: Green Gold in Chocó-Colombia, supporting the research and analysis of primary and secondary information.



 Maria Laura Barreto (Advisory Board)


Over the last 26 years Dr. Barreto has been continuously active in the field of environmental and mining law and policy in the extractive industries. In Mozambique she worked as a legal advisor to the Minister of Mineral Resources. In Brazil, she worked as a researcher for fifteen years in the Center of Mineral Technology (CETEM). In 2002, Dr.Barreto co-founded a consulting company, Materials Efficiency Research Group in Canada ( to continue her work on sustainability in the extractive sector and artisanal and small scale mining. Since 2008 she has served on the Board of ARM and was elected Chair of ARM’s Board in 2010. She is also an advisor on ASM regulatory and public policy issues for ARM. She holds a Master’s degree in Law and International Relations and a PhD in Mining Engineering.




  Félix Carrillo (Research Team Bolivia)


Felix Carrillo is a Metallurgical Engineer. His field work focused initially on everything related to the environmental aspects of mining, mainly in the development and application of techniques aimed at reducing the environmental impact caused by mining operations. He has done research on environmental problems in regions with small-scale mining and has experience with projects in several countries. He has written numerous technical papers for editions of literature, press releases and conferences at national and international events. The GOMIAM project is important because it combines the expertise of researchers from various countries in search of solutions to the serious problem of pollution caused by the small gold mining in the Amazon region.



Leontien Cremers (GOMIAM Secretariat - Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

Leontien Cremers studied Irrigation and Water Engineering at Wageningen University (Ir. 2003) and graduated in the post-initial masterstudy programme Latin American Studies at CEDLA in 2009. Currently she works as project assistant for the GOMIAM project.
Her research interests concern topics of water- and natural resources management in situations of poverty, conflict and inequality. Before, she has done research in the Andes (Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia) and the Philippines and worked as an advisor for a Dutch NGO, coordinating capacity building activities on integrated water management (IWRM).


Gerardo Damonte (Research Team Peru)

Gerardo Damonte Valencia received his Ph.D. in Anthropology at Cornell University. He is a senior researcher in the Area of Natural Resources at the Group for the Analysis of Development (GRADE), and Assistant Professor at the Social Science Department of the Catholic University of Peru (PUCP). Gerardo conducts research in three interrelated issues: extractive industries and rural society; local knowledge and climate change, and; social movements and territories. Geographically, his research is focus on Latin America, in particular central Andes. Among his publications are the books: The Constitution of Political Actors: peasant communities and mobilization in Bolivian and Peruvian Andes (2008) and Construyendo Terrirorios: narrativas aymaras contemporáneas (2011), as well as several articles on mining projects´ social impacts.




Celine Duijves (Research Team Suriname)


Celine Duijves is working in the fields of mining, community development and education. She did her graduate research in the interior of Suriname and obtained her MA degree in Cultural Anthropology at the VU University. She has been living in Suriname since 2008 and works as an independent consultant. Her most recent consultancy experiences include a study of child labor in gold mining commissioned by the US Department of Labor and a study of Improving Access to HIV Services for Mobile and Migrant Populations in gold mining areas commissioned by PANCAP.

José De Echave C. (Research team Peru)

José de Echave ha seguido estudios de economía en Francia, obteniendo el título de Doctor en Economía en 1989. Igualmente tiene un post grado en Economía Internacional y Desarrollo.

Desde 1990 trabaja la problemática minera, abordando temas relacionados a aspectos productivos, las relaciones laborales, la problemática ambiental y las relaciones con las poblaciones del entorno. También se ha desempeñado como consultor de la Organización Internacional del Trabajo (OIT) para la elaboración del estudio sobre “Condiciones y Medio Ambiente de Trabajo en el Sector Minero en el Perú” y es co autor de la investigación sobre Minería y Comunidades: Manejo de Recursos Naturales y Pobreza para la Universidad de Massachussets y el Political Economy Research Institute. Es integrante de la Red Internacional Minería y Comunidades (MAC). 

Es fundador de la institución peruana CooperAccion y actualmente se desempeña como investigador de esa institución y director del Boletín Actualidad Minera del Perú. Desde el año 1998, asesora a comunidades campesinas afectadas por proyectos mineros y a sus organizaciones nacionales. Entre agosto y diciembre de 2011 ha sido Vice Ministro de Gestión Ambiental del Ministerio del Ambiente del Perú.

Adhemir Flores
(Research Team Peru)

Bachelor in Philosophy at the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (PUCP). Specialist in political philosophy, political analysis and social sciences with an emphasis in ethnographic research. His research themes are justice theory, ethics in discourse, politics of difference, ethnic communities, human rights, social conflicts, liberal and cosmopolitan peace, democratic regimes and global risks. He has realised studies on contemporary ethnography in Peru and Bolivia at the Instituto de Estudios Peruanos (IEP), and is author of several studies done in the Amazon and the Central Andes. From 2006 and onwards, he is a researcher at the Centro Bartolomé de las Casas in Cusco, and, from 2012 onwards, researcher at the research group Political Philosophy of the Centro de Estudios Filosóficos at PUCP, doing research on recognistion, justice and social conflict in latin America. He is also teacher of Philosophy and Ethics at the Universidad de San Martín de Porres.    

Ramon Linsini Finkie (Research Team Suriname)


Ramon studied Mining Engineering at the Federal University of Ouro Preto and obtained his MSc degree in Mineral Engineering (minerals classification in Hydro-cyclone) at the University of São Paulo - Brazil (2003). He is Lecturer at the Department of Geology and Mining (Faculty of Technology) at the Anton de Kom University of Suriname. He teaches Introduction to Mining, Surface Mining, Alluvial mining and Mineral Processing.Currently he works on the following projects: a) Study the efficiency of the gravity recoverable gold of Nana Resources N.V. circuit at Buese, Lawa district Sipaliwini –Suriname. b) Study the efficiency of Jig minerals concentrator by using alluvial and tailing materials of small scale gold at Koemboe kreek area, Brownsweg - Brokopondo. c)Jig minerals concentrator training for miners from the villages Koffie Kamp and Brownsweg as alternative concentration method without using mercury. He is also member of the foundation AHALLA. One of the goals of this foundation is to support (represents them in meetings and reorganize their activities) the small scale miners surrounding Brownsweg.



Marieke Heemskerk (Research Team Suriname)

Marieke Heemskerk is an anthropologist (PhD, Univ. of Gainesville, USA) with a special interest in small-scale mining. Heemskerk has conducted research in Suriname gold mining areas since 1996 and been involved in research and development projects in small-scale mines (minerals, gemstones, building materials) in different African and Latin American countries. At present, Heemskerk is working as a social science consultant in Suriname where she has performed assignments for international and national NGOs (WWF, ACT), companies (e.g. Staatsolie), the Suriname and foreign governments, and international development organizations (IDB, UN). In addition to small-scale gold mining, these assignments have addressed topics related to gender, sexual and reproductive health , and social impacts (mitigation) of large-scale mining activities. Recent assignments include a study of child labor in Suriname gold mines for the US Department of Labor; a baseline assessment of two Fairtrade/Fairmined labeled gold producers’ organizations in Bolivia and Colombia; and the development of malaria awareness materials for the Suriname malaria program aimed at the small-scale mining sector. Heemskerk is the lead researcher for the Suriname Gomiam team.

Judith Kolen (GOMIAM Secretariat - Amsterdam, The Netherlands)

Judith Kolen obtained her MA degree in Cultural Anthropology at the VU University in 2006. She has since been working in the field of water supply and sanitation, and participated in capacity development projects in Indonesia, Morocco, Burkina Faso, Egypt and Suriname. She gained experience in needs assessments, baseline-studies and project evaluations. Her interest in health issues made her take up a study in Public Health recently, at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She works as a project assistant at the GOMIAM Secretariat and is interested in the combination of anthropological and public health methods in studying small-scale mining.


Ingrid Lozada (Research Team Colombia)


Ingrid Lozado is the Executive Director of Fundación Amigos del Chocó, Colombia, and General Coordinator of the alliance that created the Oro Verde program. She is a Process Engineer with emphasis on industrial process. She has seven years of experience in the development of entrepreneurial initiatives based on the alternative use of natural resources, as well as product differentiation schemes such as organic certifications, biotrade and fair trade.





Armin Mathis (Research Team Brazil)


Dr. Armin Mathis is the General Director of the Center for Advanced Amazon Studies (Núcleo de Altos Estudos Amazônicos) at the Federal University of Pará, Belém (Universidade Federal do Pará), Brazil. His main areas of research involve the social organization of small scale miners, working process, relation with nature, public policy for small scale mining, and (small scale) mining and its contributions for regional development. Mathis hopes that the future brings more regional cooperation between the Guiana Shield countries to share information about small-scale mining (workforce, production, legal aspects, environmental problems, public policies etc). He also perceives a need for the development of a database (public and internet based) to store information regarding (small-scale) mining in the Guyana Shield (Brazil, French Guyana, Suriname, Guyana); and for the development of alternatives for the working force that lost their job, because mining is no longer allowed.


Bernard Paansa (Advisor Suriname)


Bernard Paansa is the head of the division of exploration and geology of the Geology and Mining Department (GMD) in Suriname. Through his many years of working with the GMD, where he has often, where he has often assisted small-scale gold miners, Mr. Paansa has acquired in-depth knowledge of the small-scale gold mining sector in Suriname. Earlier research projects Mr. Paansa has been involved in include a PAHO-GMD project (1997-8) and a WWF-GMD project (2006). His wish is that the small-scale gold mining sector will acquire a legal position in the region.


Victor Hugo Pachas (Advisor Peru)

Doctor (C) in Social Sciences and MA in Andean Anthropology from the Universidad Nacional Mayor of San Marcos in Peru. Working as a teacher for the Department of Anthropology of the Humanities Faculty of the Universidad Nacional Federico Villarreal of Perú. Expert in socio-environmental risk management and business analysis of artesanal and small mining, through participation in interdisciplinary teams, social programmes and multi-sectorial institutes, designing programs and public policies on cultural aspects, child labour, gender, formalisation, environment and fair trade of gold. Victor Hugo has been involved in the design of public policies on intercultural relations with gender equity, and their execution in the context of the MAPE program: programs for the eradication of child labour, community relations and reallocations and has done advisory work in programs for fair trade gold. At this moment he is member of the professional staff of  Catholic Relief Services-CRS. 


Ton Salman (Research Team Bolivia)


Ton Salman studied philosophy and anthropology at the University of Amsterdam, and did his PhD (1993) at the Centre for Study and Documentation of Latin America (CEDLA) in Amsterdam. His usual research themes and publications are on social movements, democratization, popular culture, and citizenship in Latin America, in particular in Bolivia. Currently he is associate professor at the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology of the VU University Amsterdam. He has no substantial experience in gold-mining research, but has a long trajectory in anthropology-research and research coordination and supervision. He is Dutch but lives most of the year in Bolivia.




Mariana Sarmiento (Research Team Colombia)

Mariana Sarmiento is a specialist in environmental policy analysis and design. She has worked developing and implementing natural resource manangement strategies for public and private organizations as well as stakeholder engagement strategies in high level arenas as well as local communities. Some of Mariana's work has involved Colombia’s Ministry of Environment leading the environmental conflict resolution program and collaborating on the development of the national water resources policy. She has also consulted for USAID on the implementation of development projects in Colombia, the World Bank on environmental management issues of the Mexican Petroleum Company, WWF on mining and biodiversity issues, and with an international NGO on economic valuation in Natural Resource Damage Assessments. She also conducted research in forestry projects with indigenous communities across Latin America. Mariana holds a  Master’s in Environmental Management from Yale University, and a bachelor´s degree from Tulane University in Environmental Studies and Political Science.

Carola Soruco (Research Team Bolivia)


Carola Soruco was a primary school teacher and later studied social and cultural anthropology at the Universidad Técnica de Oruro (UTO), Facultad de Ciencias Jurídicas Políticas y Sociales, and is finishing her licenciatura-thesis. After university she worked (2003-2004) as a researcher in the research- and action project amongst gold miners in Tipuani (Yungas, Bolivia) Erradicación Progresiva del Trabajo Infantil, organized by OIT and MEDMIN, and in 2005/2006 at the project Niños trabajadores en el sector minero: su perspectiva, for CECI/MEDMIN, in Huanuni, Oruro. From 2007 to 2010 she worked, both as computer- and evaluation-expert, in alphabetization-programs.




Marjo de Theije - Project Coordinator (GOMIAM Secretariat - Amsterdam, The Netherlands)


Marjo de Theije has a PhD in anthropology and many years of experience as a researcher, mostly in Brazil and Suriname. She is researcher at the CEDLA, the Centre of Latin American Studies in Amsterdam. She is also associate professor at the department of Social and Cultural Anthropology (Faculty of Social Sciences) at the VU University Amsterdam. In 2004 she started anthropological research among Brazilian migrants in Suriname. There she became interested in small-scale gold mining in the Southeast of the country. She did extensive fieldwork in Antino and Benzdorp and made many short trips to other mining areas. This work also was the starting point for the large comparative Amazon wide GOMIAM project. As a volunteer she contributed to the work of Solidaridad, Cordaid, and the Amazon Conservation Team.

Alexandra Uran Carmona (Research Team Colombia)

Alexandra Uran Carmona is a proffesor at the Anthropology Departament of the Universidad de Antioquia in Medellín, Colombia. She holds a degree in Mining Engineering (National University Medellín), Anthropology (Universidad de Antioquia, Medellín) and a M.A. in Environmental Anthropology (University of Kent, Cantebury England). She did her PhD in Sociology and Social Sciences in Germany, at Kassel Universitat. She was active in the Program Social and Environmental Sustainability in the West, East and South, in 2008.