Recent research carried out by scientific research bodies in Venezuela shows that 92% of indigenous women of the Caura river, a major affluent of the Orinoco, have levels of mercury poisoning higher than internationally agreed permissible levels. Over one third of those tested have such high levels of mercury poisoning that they have a 5% risk of their newborn children having neurological disorders. The researchers note that the ongoing contamination of rivers, which results from the continuing illegal gold mining in the lands of the Ye'kuana and Sanema peoples, is getting worse and will lead to progressive bio-accumulation, posing an ever growing risk.
In a public statement the indigenous organisation COIAM, representing all the most active indigenous peoples' organisations in the Venezuelan Amazon, have expressed their opposition to government negotiations with foreign companies to open up their ancestral territories to mining without consultation or sharing of information. There are especially concerned by the advanced plans of a Chinese Corporation named as Citic Group with prospecting camps in a number of strategic locations in the indigenous peoples' heartlands.
Estudio participativo sobre los recursos naturales, usos y propuestas de manejo adelantado por la Organización Indígena de la Cuenca del Caura "KUYUJANI", La Universidad Nacional Experimental de Guayana-Centro de Investigaciones Antropológicas de Guayana, con el apoyo científico y financiero del Forest Peoples Programme.
En agosto estalló la noticia de una supuesta masacre del pueblo Yanomami en el remoto río de Alto Ocamo. La noticia se había filtrado río abajo hasta las estaciones misioneras establecidas entre los Yanomami en las praderas de Parima más al sur, tras lo que fue difundida por la organización Yanomami denominada Horonami y otras organizaciones indígenas del estado venezolano de Amazonas. El problema de las incursiones ilegales de mineros brasileños en el territorio de los Yanomami venezolanos se ha estado produciendo esporádicamente desde mediados de la década de los 60 y ha provocado varias epidemias y estallidos de violencia. En 1993 una masacre en la comunidad de Haximu condujo a investigaciones internacionales y a la condena de varios mineros en los tribunales brasileños. Saltó la alarma de que algo parecido acababa de ocurrir en el Alto Ocamo.
On 25th September, the Venezuelan Yanomami through their national organisation, Horonami, reiterated their call for a calm, detailed and participatory investigation into possible violent acts and abuses by illegal Brazilian miners in the Upper Ocamo river in the headwaters of the Orinoco. Although allegations of a serious massacre of Yanomami have now been dropped, the Yanomami reject statements that 'all is well' in the region.
On 5th September 2012, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) of the Organisation of American States issued a press release in which it urged the Venezuelan Government to carry out an investigation in the Upper Ocamo village of Irotatheri where the alleged massacre of as many as 80 people is supposed to have taken place. On 10th September 2012, the IACHR issued a further press statement noting that Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela had officially 'denounced' the Convention. However, as the IACHR notes, withdrawal from the Convention requires one year's notice and moreover:
Following a recent investigation carried out by the indigenous organization, Horonami, other indigenous organizations in the Venezuelan State of Amazonas have issued a joint statement denouncing a massacre of Yanomami indigenous people in the headwaters of the Ocamo river in the Upper Orinoco. The massacre is alleged to have been perpetrated by Brazilian miners who illegally crossed the border into this remote, forested, upland area.
Government moves to cut the Hoti people's lands in the Venezuelan State of Amazonas by 42% have been denounced by all the main indigenous peoples' organizations. The Hoti were only brought into sustained contact with the national society by missionaries in the 1960s and many groups are still choosing to remain out of contact in the forested highlands. After flawed consultations, the Government has proposed reducing the Hoti territory by almost half, thereby excluding from protection the most isolated groups.
A new report from the Universidad Nacional Experimental de Guayana shows that less than 1% of the territory of Venezuela has been recognised as indigenous lands. The illustrated study compares the situation in Venezuela with neighbouring Colombia where more 34 million hectares making up nearly 30% of the national territory have been recognised as self-governing indigenous territories (resguardos).
FPP es una sociedad limitada por garantía (Inglaterra y Gales) registrada
con el n.º 3868836, domicilio social. Organización benéfica del Reino
Unido con el n.º 1082158. También está registrada como fundación sin ánimo
de lucro en los Países Bajos.