Lunch Break: More Violence On Our Indigenous Folks

A new massacre on our Pemón community happens, and it's linked to the savage gold trade; the Fe y Alegría institution is running out of personnel to properly function; Miranda mayors and councilmen struggle against the state's governor.

Photo: El Impulso, retrieved.
  • On November 22nd, a massacre occurred in the Pemon community of southern Bolívar state. The Prosecutor’s Office confirmed six people dead, but last night NGO Provea informed that two other bodies were found in Pemon territory, still unidentified, which would make it eight people murdered in Ikabarú. On Monday, Primero Justicia made mining mafias responsible for the massacre, promoted by the gold rush that has taken over because of the Mining Arc exploitation. Deputy Ángel Medina warned that “according to Transparencia Internacional, there have been over 40 massacres in Bolívar in the past few years, all of them because of the gold rush and the Mining Arc devastation.” The IACHR Mechanism for Venezuela expressed their serious concern for the massacre.
  • Miranda mayors and councilmen ruled out on Monday the popular consultation call made by governor Héctor Rodríguez to approve resources from fines to communal banks. El Hatillo mayor, Elías Sayegh, said that reassigning those funds to communes might be a violation of the treasury unit department: “From experience, we’ve seen how after assigning resources to communal councils, less than 10% of the projects are completed.” He said that voting centers favored the Psuv (and so do members of voting stations,) but they still don’t know which electoral registry they’ll use. That’s why he asked mirandinos to not be part of this illegal process, exhorting the governor to cancel the event and allow the resources to go to the police, hospitals and schools.
  • Fe y Alegría directors, teachers, students and parents exposed their vulnerable situation, overwhelmed by the humanitarian crisis. Noelbis Aguilar explained that 25% of personnel has left because of low salaries; the rest isn’t safe from having to abandon their positions. Out of 9,019 Fe y Alegría jobs, 7,244 are active, against 1,775 who quit.
  • The first oral and public trial against deputy Juan Requesens began. Requesens is accused of participating in the alleged murder attempt against Nicolás on August 2018. On November 21st, the UN Working Group Against Arbitrary Detention demanded Requesens’ immediate release. 
  • In Venezuela, a pack of birth control pills is more expensive than what the minimum wage can cover. 
  • On the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, Cepal said that in 2018 there were at least 3,529 women who died because of femicide in 25 Latin American countries, and four of the five highest rates in the region are in Central America, Caribbean countries and Bolivia. The UN demanded a greater collective effort to stop rape and assure victims are looked after. 
  • Colombian President Iván Duque called for a meeting on Tuesday with workers’ unions who called for protests against his economic and social policies. Demonstrations entered their fifth day in a row yesterday, November 25th.
  • The second round of presidential elections in Uruguay ended with a tie between candidates Daniel Martínez and senator Luis Lacalle Pou. With 96% of votes counted, Lacalle Pou had a 1,5 points advantage over Martínez.
  • The urgent law to call for elections in Bolivia was approved on Sunday, November 24th, by interim President Jeanine Áñez. The first spokesman appointed for the new electoral institution, Salvador Romero, presided this organization before Evo Morales’s government.
  • Chilean President Sebastián Piñera announced that he’ll impose the “immediate debate” of a controversial law in Congress, so the military protects public infrastructure without having to impose a state of emergency, due to the violence unleashed by the social crisis.
  • Keiko Fujimori will be released after spending a year in prison, since the Peruvian Constitutional Tribunal agreed to overrule the cautionary measure against her while she was investigated for laundering assets tied to Odebrecht.
  • In Guatemala, a court tried three retired military officers who were part of the High Command, because of their apparent involvement in genocide and forced disappearances. The judge said there are enough reasons to believe they knew about the plans and results of the Army in the Ixil area, where 1,128 Ixil were massacred between 1978 and 1982. Crimes against humanity are not subjected to statutory limitations.

Naky Soto

Naky gets called Naibet at home and at the bank. She coordinates training programs for an NGO. She collects moments and turns them into words. She has more stories than freckles.