An article by The SOS Orinoco Team
Historically, Southern Venezuela 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.
Thanks to cooperation with Radiant Earth Foundation, SOSOrinoco got access to and analysis of recent (2018) open data from the European Union Sentinel 2 satellites and access and analysis of high resolution images of Yapacana National Park, courtesy of satellite image ©2018 DigitalGlobe, a Maxar company, that reveal the accelerated pace of devastation and deforestation due to illegal mining inside the park.
As the Maduro Regime attempts to maneuver around sanctions that are limiting its ability to produce revenues via PDVSA, they are trying to ramp up gold, diamond and coltan production, circumvent the Central Bank of Venezuela by smuggling these conflict minerals through Colombia, Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao and lately direct flights to Turkey, in order to export the minerals directly to Turkey and Iran.
On September 10, 2018, briefer Marshall Billingslea, Assistant Secretary for Terrorist Financing, U.S. Department of the Treasury made a presentation at an informal Arria-formula meeting of the Security Council that focused on the pervasive corruption in Venezuela that has led to instability and a humanitarian crisis, a key aspect of which is the current Gold Rush that is devastating the environment and indigenous peoples.
This report by ControlCiudadano.org documents the chain of command in the gold mines of Venezuela, involving the armed forces and mafias.
Recent satellite images (May 2018 reveal and confirm the location of the illegal mining site Maraya inside YAPAKANA National Park in Amazonas State (Venezuela) where any type of mining is forbidden in the 1999 Constitution of Venezuela. Criminal illegal mining in this state is not only allowed but exploited by the Venezuelan Armed Forces, in particular by the regional command REDI Guayana.
El gobierno de Estados Unidos sancionó a #DiosdadoCabello @ConElMazoDando y su camarilla por “narcotrafico, lavado de dinero, peculado y otras actividades corruptas”. Habría que agregarle permitir la minería ilegal y la pérdida de soberanía en Bolívar y Amazonas. #sosorinoco pic.twitter.com/P60GlEidXK — SOS Orinoco (@SOSOrinoco) May 19, 2018
Look at the scars left by #illegalmining – prohibited by Decree No. 269 (1989) but allowed by @NicolasMaduro & controlled by the #FARC – that destroy the #Yanomami‘s environment and threaten their livelihood.
This situation report is produced by the International Council of AIDS Service Organizations (ICASO) and Global Development One (GDO). It focuses on the malaria situation in Venezuela from January 2000 to June 2019, underscoring the role that the complex humanitarian crisis has played in more recent years. www.icaso.org
Read the report on the resurgence of malaria and the report on the resurgence of vaccine-preventable diseases in Venezuela (measles and diphtheria), affecting the indigenous people in a disproportionate way.
“Kuyuni Envenenado” by Venezuelan director Alexandra Henao shows how the Yekuana and Sanema indigenous peoples living on the Caura River are being poisoned by the use of mercury in illegal mines that are protected by members of the Venezuelan armed forces
Yanomami children, Alto Ocamo, Amazonas, Venezuela
Photo ©cvb 1984
When a government deliberately stops providing essential vaccinations for the most vulnerable people such as the Yanomami putting them at risk of contracting transferable diseases such as measles, diptheria, polio that are known to decimate indigenous peoples, we need to denounce and raise our voices regarding this abuse of human rights. President Nicolas Maduro and his Minister of Health @LuisLopezPSUV have deliberately stopped vaccinating the Yanomami and they are now at tremendous risk