Extracting gold and other minerals in Venezuela: The environmental crisis we don’t talk about

OECD Partner Session on Venezuelan Gold

Organised by : Global Affairs Canada, U.S. Department of State, U.K. Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

An OECD report on Gold Flows from Venezuela* released last year determined that as much as 2.4 million ounces of gold are extracted annually in Venezuela, posing very high risks of corruption, conflict financing and money laundering for companies potentially sourcing the material. The experts featured on this panel will discuss the report’s findings, and give an overview of their contribution to uncovering the grim reality behind mining activities in modern day Venezuela. The panelists will provide evidence of the grave impact on the human rights of workers, migrants, Indigenous peoples and other local communities, as well as the irreversible environmental destruction taking place in Venezuela’s amazon region. They will explain how non-state armed groups, criminal organizations and state forces both work together (and sometimes, fight against each other) to control mining areas, the supply chains feeding mineral extraction, and how gold exits Venezuela and enters international markets.

* https://mneguidelines.oecd.org/gold-flows-from-venezuela-supporting-due-diligence.htm

Moderator: David Soud, IR Consilium (author of OECD report, Gold Flows from Venezuela)

· Bram Ebus, International Crisis Group
· Cristina Burelli, SOS Orinoco
· Tamara Taraciuk Broner, Human Rights Watch
· María de los Angeles Ramírez, Rainforest Investigations Fellow

Our position on
the Orinoco Mining Arc

Arco Minero del Orinoco

The purpose of SOSOrinoco is to shed light on the existing body of work regarding the situation in the Amazonia and Orinoquia regions of Venezuela, to raise awareness of the tragedy that is occurring and to outline some urgent measures that need to be taken in order to halt the unfolding human and environmental disaster.