Residents of the municipality of Cajamarca in eastern Colombia said “no” to what would have been the second-largest open-pit gold mine in the world.Now they are afraid that the government will not respect their decision.Leaders who promoted the popular referendum that banned large-scale mining in the municipality continue to be threatened. Some of their colleagues have been killed. This story is a journalistic collaboration between El Colombiano Medellin and Mongabay Latam. CAJAMARCA, Colombia — Jimmy’s face lights up when he remembers César. A man who drew people to him, who delighted like a child when he decorated carnival floats and whose face is displayed in the busy market square of the municipality of Cajamarca. César’s legacy is also inscribed in bronze letters in the main park, beneath the sculpture of a farmer wielding a hoe and standing atop a mantle laden with fruit and vegetables. Jimmy has a faraway look, but a ready smile. His hand seems to be wedded to his notebook and a mobile phone. And while he keeps shop at his farm business at the entrance to the town, he dismissively points to a folder containing evidence that his life is constantly at risk. It’s no use to him, he says, except as a reminder that the state will never defend him. Thirteen years ago, Jimmy Fernando Torres and Pedro César García were the first to raise their voices against the South African mining multinational AngloGold Ashanti. The firm wanted to extract gold at La Colosa deposit in Cajamarca, an area in the department of Tolima, to the east of Bógota, that is one of Colombia’s prime farming regions. “El Loco,” as they used to call César, was murdered on Nov. 2, 2013, in front of his wife and children while they were walking home. Although his voice was extinguished, his message spread among the local population and transcended borders to reach far-off countries in Europe, finally achieving a fundamental milestone in defending the land four years after his death: stopping La Colosa mine. It was a partial victory, according to Jimmy and the region’s other environmental leaders, because today not only does the possibility of the multinational reactivating its extractive project still lurk, but the outlook has darkened for those who oppose it and other mining operations in Colombia. Threats, murders, state indifference and pressure from various fronts shape the daily lives of environmentalists in this region and the rest of the country.