Oxus Gold’s Dirty Little Secret

Lira Tantebeyava works for the women of Kyrgyzstan. Every day, she plots and executes strategies to bring equal rights to one half the people of that beautiful, mountainous country on the opposite side of the globe. She brooks sexism from no one in a society where it is cultural permissible for a man to kidnap a woman of his choosing to become his bride. Lira Tantebeyave is one tough hombre.

Lira is also a loving mother of five: 1 young woman, 3 girls, and a baby daughter. She is the devoted wife of Sayakbai, a gentleman giant, man enough to respect his wife as an equal.

Lira Tantebeyava was imprisoned in Talas City, Talas Oblast by authorities in the back pocket of the Jerooy gold mining company, a Kyrgyz subsidiary of Oxus Gold, a British multinational mining company. Lira had organized a rally against the mine, which the people of Talas, discreetly animist, despise for its environmental impact. For this, Lira spent three weeks in jail, was roughed up, and denied access to her family.

As libertarians, we hold true that a free market dynamic is the ideal principle upon which to organize an economy, and probably society as well. Usually, it is excess government that riles us. But let us never forget that such intangible as scruples have tangible manifestations. Optimal, even acceptable outcomes are not foreordained. It takes a great deal of self regulation. Good practices matter, if things are to work as we know they can.

Oxus Gold has earned notice. They have shamed themselves; they have shamed Britain; they have shamed the market. It is imperative to care because companies like this inhibit the cause.