Photo credit: Dalibor Gaete
The United Nations (UN) has charged that several gold, diamond, and bauxite mines in the Venezuelan Amazon are currently operated and controlled by criminal gangs.
The UN noted that workers have been exploited, beaten, and even killed in some instances without the Venezuelan security and military forces doing anything to avert the situation.
It also indicated that security forces have participated in some of the violence against the miners.
“Despite the considerable presence of security and military forces in the region … authorities have failed to investigate and prosecute human rights violations, and abuses and crimes linked to mining,” UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said in a statement.
“Authorities should take immediate steps to end labor and sexual exploitation, child labor, and human trafficking, and should dismantle criminal groups controlling mining activities,” she added.
“They must also investigate, prosecute, and punish those responsible for human rights violations, abuses, and crimes.”
Nigel Bell, Readers Bureau, Contributor
Edited by Jesus Chan
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