Venezuela: miners’ invasion continues, but no sign of destruction of Irotatheri 11 September 2012

Illegal goldminers have been occupying the Yanomami territory for years.
Illegal goldminers have been occupying the Yanomami territory for years.
© Colin Jones/Survival

Having received its own testimony from confidential sources, Survival now believes there was no attack by miners on the Yanomami settlement of Irotatheri. Yanomami from the area – in which many illegal gold miners are currently operating – had heard stories of a killing in July, and this was reported, by some, as having occurred in this settlement.

We currently do not know whether or not these stories were sparked by a violent incident, which is the most likely explanation, but tension remains high in the area.

The Venezuelan government’s reaction remains shameful. It has not said, even now, that it will remove the miners, and it immediately denied having found ‘evidence’ of killings, before even concluding its own investigation. Its supporters have gone further and accused its critics of being part of a right-wing conspiracy etc.

The Venezuelan authorities should continue to investigate this incident and, most importantly, must evict those invading the Yanomami and other Indian territories in the country.

 

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