Americo De Grazia, deputy to the National Assembly, warned on Monday, August 17, that there are some 30 indigenous ethnic groups in the state of Bolivar that are being harmed by the exploitation of the Orinoco Mining Arc.
The Minning Arc was launching by Nicolás Maduro in 2016, which comprise a series of gold mining projects covering 12% of the Venezuelan territory, including main rivers and delicate Amazon rainforest, that were not approved by the opposition-held National Assembly legislative.
Organizations and activists of ecological and human rights have reported massacres of Pemon and other indigenous peoples, as different criminal groups battle each other and the Venezuelan military for control of the chaotic mines, where ecological disasters, prostitution, and slave labor also abound.
According to his, De Grazia explained how the Maduro administration enslaves the indigenous Venezuelans.
“The indigenous peoples are isolated, which makes them increasingly dependent on the regime. For example, if they try to get out of their isolation, they need fuel. So, the gasoline becomes in a mechanism of control, since the regime sells to them in exchange for gold, inducing them to the mining activity,” the lawmaker explained.
The deputy also denounced that Maduro has handed over 50% of the national territory to the terrorist group National Liberation Army (ELN) to manage the mining and drug trafficking activity in the Arco Minero.
“Maduro’s regime chose to empower the ELN in the mining areas because it serves them as an instrument of defense on the ground. Together with the FARC, these irregular groups have strategic associations and protect drug trafficking through the Camimpeg (controlled by Maduro’s military) company, which is responsible for granting the operation of the mines to the different groups and unions, including members of Hezbollah and Hamas,” he said.
Finally, De Grazia highlighted the importance of the European Union debating about the Mining Arc, as well as the pronouncements of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, to promote more international actions.