Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

9/6/2012 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Eighty men, women and children were killed in remote outpost

Questions continue to swirl around the massacre of 80 men, women and children in a remote Venezuelan outpost. According to indigenous organizations, the Yanomami people were reportedly killed in July by wildcat gold miners from Brazil.

The garimpeiros, the illegal gold miners who cross the border from Brazil) in that area and their sometimes difficult relations with the Yanomami communities have been known about for years.

The garimpeiros, the illegal gold miners who cross the border from Brazil) in that area and their sometimes difficult relations with the Yanomami communities have been known about for years.

Article Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

9/6/2012 (1 year ago)

Published in Americas

Keywords: Venezuela, Brazil, indigenuous people, massacre, Amazon


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "Although there are questions about the number of victims, the activity of the garimpeiros (illegal gold miners who cross the border from Brazil) in that area and their sometimes difficult relations with the Yanomami communities have been known about for years," José Ángel Divassón, a Catholic bishop in Amazonas state told IPS.

Located at the bottom tip of Venezuela, the area of 108 square miles is home to 15 different indigenous groups. A large part of the state is covered with virgin jungle fed by the waters of the tributaries of the Orinoco and Amazon rivers.

As way of explanation of the massacre, an environmental protection law banned mining in the entire mineral-rich state in 1989.

But "the garimpeiros, pressured by the authorities in northern Brazil, cross into Venezuela and establish relations with the Yanomami, to get their support in exchange for some goods. But sometimes that cooperation breaks down," Divassón says. His order carries out missionary work throughout the state of Amazonas.

The Horonami Yanomami Organization filed a request in the public prosecutor's office in Puerto Ayacucho last month for an investigation of the massacre reported by three survivors from Irotatheri, the village where the killings apparently took place in early July.

The Horonami Organization's request was backed by four other communities in the area of the headwaters of the Ocamo river and the Parima Sierra along the border with Brazil.

The survivors "had gone out to hunt and heard the noise of a helicopter in which the garimpeiros arrived, and the sound of explosions and gunshot in the 'shabono' (round, straw-roofed communal hut), which they found burnt down. Eighty people lived there," Horonami leader Luis Shatiwë told prosecutors.

Members of the Hokomawe community also saw the burnt remains of the shabono. Charred human bodies and bones were also in plain view. The group informed Shatiwë, who reported it to members of army Brigade 52, which operates in the area, on July 27, according to the Horonami Organization.

Marcos de Oliveira at Brazil's Socio-environmental Institute told newspaper journalists that an injured survivor from Irotatheri reached a shabono on the Brazilian side of the border, where he was given medical assistance and was taken in by relatives in another community.

"Due to the community's remote location, it took the Indians who discovered the bodies days to walk to the nearest settlement to report the tragedy," according to Survival International, a global organization that helps tribal peoples.

Thirteen native organizations from the region, representing different indigenous communities, expressed solidarity with the Horonami Organization's denunciation. They said in a statement that the Yanomami communities in the area of the headwaters of the Ocamo river "have been invaded and attacked by illegal miners from Brazil for more than four years.

"Since 2009, we have been informing state bodies in Venezuela of the presence of garimpeiros in the Alto Ocamo, attacks on the Momoi and Hokomawe communities, physical violence, threats, the exploitation of women, and the contamination of water with mercury, which has left a number of Yanomami dead," the document says.

A version of this story was first published by Inter Press Service news agency.

.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for April 2014
Ecology and Justice:
That governments may foster the protection of creation and the just distribution of natural resources.
Hope for the Sick: That the Risen Lord may fill with hope the hearts of those who are being tested by pain and sickness.



Comments


More Americas

Massive earthquake shake Mexico: Was it foretold by oarfish? Watch

Image of The earthquake, which sent terrified residents running into the streets, has authorities looking for damage and injuries.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

One of the strongest earthquakes over the past several years has rumbled through Mexico. According to the Mexican Seismological Institute, the quake had a preliminary magnitude of 7. As reported here on Catholic Online, the temblor may have been foretold by the ... continue reading


Colombia: Largest South American drug bust in nine years Watch

Image of The drugs were discovered by the local authorities as the ship was about to disembark the port on the northern Caribbean coast for the Netherlands, camouflaged among pineapple pulp.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It was by far the largest drug bust in all of South America in almost nine years: Colombian police intercepted SEVEN TONS of cocaine headed to the Dutch port of Rotterdam. The drugs had a street value of at least $250 million. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) ... continue reading


Vigilance saves lives: Building codes prevented destruction in Chilean quake Watch

Image of While there was major structural damage in the quakes, it's seen as a minor trade-off where many lives were spared.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Miracles do happen. Only six perished in a massive earthquake in northern Chile following an immense 8.2 earthquake and tsunami. Four of the deaths were attributed to heart attacks and only two were crushed by debris. The reason for this amazingly low fatality ... continue reading


Tsunami batters Chilean coast after MASSIVE 8.2 earthquake Watch

Image of Chileans calmly evacuated coastal areas on foot, with policemen helping bundled-up elderly people and some residents loading up vehicles with their belongings.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A massive 8.2 earthquake has triggered a tsunami off of Chile's northern coast. Waves as high as six feet have battered the coastline. At least five people have been reported dead due to the occurrence. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The deceased, officials ... continue reading


HOUSES OF HORROR: Colombian drug gangs dismember witnesses alive in 'chop houses' Watch

Image of Thousands of Buenaventura's residents have been forced to flee as a result. Some 50,687 people have been forcibly displaced in the past three years, according to official figures.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The screams of people being dismembered alive with chainsaws echo throughout the Colombian port city of Buenaventura. People who live here say they hear the cries late at night, as the local drug gangs exact their vengeance against those who dare to cross them. ... continue reading


Report: Colombian children forced into prostitution during armed conflict Watch

Image of Colombian children caught between uprisings are often forced into situations where they are sexually exploited.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The South American nation of Colombia has been mired in fighting between state security forces, leftist rebels and right-wing paramilitary militias for almost 50 years. Along with drug-running, these armed gangs are responsible for sexual violence against ... continue reading


Violence against women in Mexico surges out of control, but who is to blame? Watch

Image of Women in Mexico protest the violence, but without meaningful changes in attitudes and from the government, nothing is likely to improve.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Mexico is a dangerous place to be female. Girls and women alike face astounding rates of violence which includes rape and murder. The horrifying conditions are related to Mexico's failed war on drugs and the breakdown of law and order in many areas, as well as ... continue reading


Denouncing the nation of Panama as a 'lackey,' Venezuela severs diplomatic ties Watch

Image of In yet another dramatic move on the part of the South American nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has severed diplomatic ties with Panama.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In yet another dramatic move on the part of the South American nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has severed diplomatic ties with Panama. Denouncing the country as being a "lackey" of the United States, Maduro accused Panama of being aligned with ... continue reading


Coin found by treasure hunter confirms long disputed historical fact Watch

Image of Sir Francis Drake reportedly covered his discovery of Canada at the behest of Queen Elizabeth I, who supposedly wished to avoid confrontation over the new territory with Spain.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A 16th century shilling, buried in clay on the shores of Vancouver Island has changed the course of Canadian history. An amateur treasure hunter with a hand-held metal detector discovered the 435-year-old coin and has given credence that British hero, Sir ... continue reading


Starbucks watch out! Crops, jobs and wages in Central America tumble due to coffee bean disease Watch

Image of Roya attacks the leaves of coffee plants with rust-colored spore dust.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Central American economy is struggling with the outbreak of coffee rust, also known as roya. The disease is crippling coffee crops in the area, leading to a downturn in jobs and income for countries reliant on this agricultural crop. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


All Americas News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 3:1-10
1 Once, when Peter and John were going up to the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 105:1-2, 3-4, 6-7, 8-9
1 Alleluia! Give thanks to Yahweh, call on his name, ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 24:13-35
13 Now that very same day, two of them were on their ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 23rd, 2014 Image

St. George
April 23: Pictures of St. George usually show him killing a dragon to ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter