Target: Government of Venezuela
Goal: Hold illegal miners accountable for mass murder of indigenous peoples
As details surrounding a massacre of horrific proportions in southern Venezuela continue to emerge, remaining members of the decimated Yanomami indigenous community plead local authorities to investigate the atrocity. Survivors of the attack reported a brutal onslaught from illegal gold miners, which left dozens dead and the community buildings smoldering in ruins. The Venezuelan authorities and federal government must do everything possible to put the monsters responsible for this appalling show of violence behind bars.
Unfortunately, this is not the first time the Yanomami have been attacked by illegal miners from Brazil. In 1993, more than 15 were killed in Brazil, and the miner’s responsible ultimately were convicted of genocide. The number of victims in the most recent attack appear to dwarf that number, with possibly 80 people murdered. Various Yanomami communities live in and around the area where this occurred, and have been constantly assaulted by illegal miners in the past four years.
Survival International reports that since 2009, Venezuela has been advised by various groups of the repeated transgressions of Brazilian gold miners (called Garimpeiros) on indigenous villagers in Venezuelan territory. However, nothing has been done to prevent these miners from continuing to encroach on this land and assault indigenous communities.
To ensure that such appalling acts of genocide do not continue, the Venezuelan government must put these illegal gold miners, who are now also mass murderers, behind bars for good. Justice must be had for the fallen indigenous Yanomami, and the possibility of a safer future made a priority.
Dear Government of Venezuela,
Recently, an unthinkable massacre occurred along your southern border. A community of Yanomami peoples were assaulted violently by illegal gold miners, who killed dozens and burned their buildings to the ground. Swift investigative action is needed to ensure these murderers are brought to justice, and new protective measures are needed to prevent illegal miners from continuing to encroach on indigenous land.
For more than two years the government of Venezuela has been informed of the ongoing conflicts between illegal gold miners and Yanomami communities. However, little to nothing has been done to drive these miners from the land and stop them from abusing indigenous tribes. Mass genocide should not have to be the catalyst for implementing such preventive measures. Now that it has happened, you cannot replace the lives lost and the grief incurred, but you can make sure it never happens again.
I urge you to use all resources available and your best investigative teams to bring the perpetrators of this massacre to justice.
[Your Name Here]