ESPACIO PUBLICITARIO
CARACAS, Friday August 31, 2012 | Update
 
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HUMAN RIGHTS

Indigenous organizations denounce illegal gold miners' crimes since 2009

Several indigenous organizations issued a statement on this matter

Illegal Brazilian gold miners killed 16 Yanomami indigenous people 19 years ago (Handout photo)
EL UNIVERSAL
Friday August 31, 2012  11:10 AM
Fourteen indigenous organizations issued a statement where they communicate that since 2009 they have been reporting to the Venezuelan authorities the presence of illegal Brazilian gold miners in the Alto Ocamo area (Amazonas state, Alto Orinoco municipality, on the southern Venezuelan border with Brazil), and that these illegal gold miners allegedly massacred a Yanomami community in July 2012.

According to the statement, unauthorized Brazilian gold miners had committed "physical violence, abuses against women, and mercury pollution in water, which has caused the death of several Yanomani indigenous people." They added that the authorities "had not implemented effective measures" to evict Brazilian gold miners out of the area.

Regional Organization of Amazonian Indigenous People, United Piaroa of Sipapo Indigenous Organization, Yekuana Organization of Alto Ventuari, Indigenous Organization Jivi Kalievirrinae, Yanomami Organization, among other indigenous organizations signed the statement.

Three alleged survivors stated that the massacre apparently had taken place in the Irotatheri Yanomami community in Amazonas state, which had been attacked with firearms and explosives, resulting in an "unspecified number of fatalities" in an 80 indigenous people community.
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A simple reason: there is oil galore, would suffice to explain Guyana's actions. Another explanation lies in the little or none efforts made by the Venezuelan government to thwart the move by the Guyanese. This is certainly not a new problem, but a problem only recently highlighted because oil is involved. But what other resources does the disputed area hold? For most of us it is a section on the map with black and white stripes on it, a depiction of something distant, alien, a nothingness not worth paying much attention to in geography classes back in elementary school.

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