Destruction in Venezuela’s Amazonia and Orinoquia
A lot has been said and denounced these past few years about drug tracking, human rights abuses, and lately the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela, but sadly little about the disaster in the Southern region of Venezuela makes it to the mainstream media and social media.
This region, comprised of states of Amazonas, Apure, Bolivar, Delta Amacuro, encompasses 60% of the national territory and only 10% of the population. It shares borders with Brazil, Colombia, and Guyana Esequiba – a territory administered by Guyana and claimed by Venezuela – possesses vast quantities of natural riches, and is the habitat of at least 34 indigenous and tribal peoples of Venezuela.
Historically, this region has alternated between neglect and attention on the part of Venezuelan rulers, both of which have had negative and positive results. During the past 20 years, the Chavista narcostate has shown fluctuating levels of attention particularly when both Chavez and Maduro were keen to find new sources of money. During this period, the government has tried to implement 6 programs in partnership with various countries – the latest one being the Arco Minero plan announced on February 24, 2016 – to exploit the vast gold, diamond, coltan and other mineral reserves. The results have been catastrophic both for the region, its people, the environment and will probably have tragic lasting – if not irreversible – effects on Venezuela and beyond.
At this time when the international community is actively denouncing and holding accountable the Maduro regime for human rights abuses, the mounting humanitarian and democratic crises, the environmental and human rights abuses that are occurring in the Southern region of Venezuela should be added to the long list.
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