SOSOrinoco tuvo acceso al documento del Proyecto de Prospección Geológica Nacional de Venezuela, que fue presentado por Citic Construction al gobierno nacional en el 2012. El texto del proyecto abarca 375 páginas. Se trata de un documento técnico que incluye detalles que van desde la conceptualización más general hasta la precisión de los equipos, insumos y el personal requerido. Sin embargo, no incluye el presupuesto de gastos.
Determinamos 160 polígonos o focos mineros de oro, cuya sumatoria totaliza 23.434 hectáreas (ha) todos dentro de la Reserva Forestal de Imataca y dentro del polígono del Arco Minero. Todos ellos constituyen una unidad espacial y funcional que denominamos aquí “distrito minero de Imataca”. Dentro de la cuenca existe otro “distrito”, más al norte, que denominamos “distrito minero El Callao”, también ubicado dentro de la cuenca del Cuyuní, el cual no trataremos en este informe.
Downstream from Icabarú, one can see more deforested mining sites along both banks of the Icabarú, and also another settlement with an unpaved landing strip. At the confluence of the Icabarú and Caroní rivers there is a small settlement with a dirt runway for light aircraft, and one can also see mining sites located inside, as well as outside of Canaima National Park. Miners die on a regular basis as a result of being buried alive as flimsy cliffs collapse from the action of pressurized water jets ejected by the monitors used in the hydraulic mining method
Far from being a legal activity that would bring in revenue to the National Treasury, the coltan mining operations are nothing more than an activity that is totally immersed in corruption and has as its purpose the enrichment of individuals: military officers, politicians, financial backers and technocrats, most of whom are partial to the regime, and members of the Colombian guerrilla forces, who use this as a way to finance the operations of their criminal organization. At the cost of causing highly deleterious impacts on society, this activity has no purpose other than to fill the pockets of these players and further promote their other illegal operations.
Para tener una idea visual del panorama, analizamos imágenes de satélite Sentinel 2A del año 2019, febrero del 2020 y Landsat 8 del 11/09/2019. Con base a ellas hemos determinado 6.860 hectáreas (equivalente a 9.016 campos de fútbol) de terreno impactado directamente por la minería, causado por 121 “focos de minas”, estando 4 de estos focos dentro del MN Guaiquinima, con 78 ha.
In the initial SOS Orinoco report, published in July of 2018, describing mining activity inside Canaima National Park (CNP), a World Heritage Site (WHS) recognized by UNESCO, the authors characterized and explained this phenomenon as being a consequence of the current Venezuelan government’s political strategy of promoting mining activity amidst an economic, social and political collapse that the regime itself has created and promoted. This document is an update of that first report, where the authors endeavored to describe what has happened in CNP and what has been the institutional response from UNESCO, IUCN and the Venezuelan government itself.
The Alto Orinoco – Casiquiare Biosphere Reserve (RBAOC) comprises one of the geographical areas of greatest cultural diversity in the entire Amazon; Indigenous communities of 17 different ethnic groups live there. Each of these peoples is the bearer of a unique cultural heritage, and as a whole they give an extraordinary universe of linguistic diversity, worldviews, mythologies, history, art and ancestral knowledge, which are a true, unique and irreplaceable contribution to Humanity through the conservation of socio-diversity and biodiversity.
Two thousand hectares of Yapacana National Park’s surface is being subjected to gold mining activity, a case of extreme ecocide. The impact on its ecosystems manifests itself not only on the surface area that has been directly destroyed but also as the radial and expansive effects caused by the more than 2,000 miners currently occupying the national park. This makes Yapacana the national park that, without a doubt, has suffered the highest level of destruction.
In recent years there has been an increase in information pertaining to a boom in gold mining activity within Canaima National Park (CNP), a World Heritage Site (WHS). Furthermore, this situation falls within the context of a strategic policy of the current Venezuelan government that promotes mining activities over vast geographic areas, and encompasses all mining categories.