Gold mining companies are undermining local democracy by giving money to the municipalities where they operate, said a local NGO in western Colombia on Sunday. “They are occupying the functions of the state that shouldn’t belong to private companies. The state has failed to invest in homes and schools so a company does it,” Juan Carlos Castro of BIABUMA, a small farmers association in the municipality of Tamesis, told Colombia Reports. “They co-opt the state…They give money to the municipalities for improving roads and fixing schools, as AngloGold did in Jerico, and Solvista did in Caramanta,” said Castro.