Photo: Yanomami Indians in the Amazon (Fiona Watson/Survival)
Survival has denounced the Venezuelan government’s repeated denials of a massacre against Yanomami Indians, calling on President Chávez to evict all illegal goldminers from indigenous territory and conduct a proper, on-site investigation.
The President is the latest senior Venezuelan official to insist there is no evidence of an attack on the Irotatheri community, in a remote part of the Amazon, close to the border with Brazil.
However, the Organization of American States has now joined Survival and indigenous organizations in the Amazon, in urging Venezuela to ‘conduct a thorough investigation to conclusively determine what happened.’
On Monday, the Coordinating body of Indigenous Organizations of Amazonia (COIAM) released a declaration recognizing the efforts of the investigation, but expressing their concern that the commission ‘did not reach Irotatheri Shapono, the place where the alleged events took place in July.’
Witnesses of the attack’s aftermath reported finding ‘burnt bodies and bones’.