Several places in the Amazon illegal miners and loggers clash with indigenous tribes in conflict over access to and use of land. “Use of” as in clear cutting, strip mining or chemically polluting. This particular report is a tad more gruesome than most of them. Only three hunters who were away when the village was bombed and sniped from a helicopter survived.
“This is another appalling tragedy for the Yanomami – heaping crime upon crime. All Amazonian governments must stop the rampant illegal mining, logging and settlement in indigenous territories. It inevitably leads to massacres of Indian men, women and children. The Venezuelan authorities must now bring the killers to swift justice, and send a signal throughout the region that Indians can no longer be killed with impunity. The mining and logging must be stopped.”
– Stephen Corry, Director of Survival International
“When we heard the first accounts we flew into Parima-B [the closest town] by helicopter with a contingent of military. In Parima we spoke to Yanomami who had walked six days to get to Parima-B to talk to us. In places this remote that is how people communicate.”
“This happened in July but because it takes close to seven days to get there we don’t really know what happened. The shaponos – the collective community dwellings – house more than 100 people, so it could be 70 [casualties] or it could be more or less.”
– Livorio Guarulla, Venezuelan governor
“Reports of garimpeiros attacking different communities are becoming more and more frequent, and now we also hear of rivers being poisoned with mercury. We’ve reported to the authorities but we are so far away that is it all easily forgotten. […mining activities are on the rise and] have also become more sophisticated. They used to fly in and land in clandestine strips, now they come in helicopters and use huge extracting machinery that is decimating the jungle.”
– Luis Bello, lawyer
Sources: Common Dreams / ‘Massacre’: Scores of Amazon Indigenous Tribe Members Killed by Miners, The Guardian / Amazon tribe massacre alleged in Venezuela.