Don’t miss Efecto Cocuyo’s take on illegal mining in Venezuela’s South.
Thanks to intrepid reporters working for Discovery Max, we can witness the devastation that illegal mining is causing in the region. And when we say “illegal,” we don’t mean “undocumented immigrants” or “garimpeiros.” We mean hard-core, armed criminal gangs working in cahoots with the Venezuelan military in order to rape and pillage our homeland.
It all began when Hugo Chávez nationalized mining in the country. Out went the multinationals, and in came the Venezuelan klpetocrats – the Armed Forces and the paramilitary groups they seem to be employing. Although, come to think of it … weren’t the Chinese involved in this guiso as well?
Here is the value added:
Armando Betancourt, a local council member from the city of El Callao in Bolívar state, claims that the people behind these [paramilitary] organizations are high-ranking members of the Armed Forces. He even claims that the military directly gives the gangs the weaponry they use (AR-15 or AK47 automatic rifles). He claims the military is the head of the local mafia.
The “El Chingo” gang, working out of the Planta Perú mine which theoretically belongs to state-owned Venezuela General Mining Company, boasts about being an organization that does not heed to military authority. They refuse to pay the military their commission, and in turn the military has attacked and robbed them. According to one of the gang’s members, military personnel kill their members and claim they did it.
What. A. Mess. But go and read the entire piece. (Sorry, in Spanish, as is the video above)Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.