Tag Archives: massacre

Paraguayan farmers question probe into killings

By Pedro Servin, December 5 2012. Source: Associated Press

In this Nov 13 2012 photo, a farmer walks behind black flags representing 11 landless farmers who were killed during clashes with police in the Yvy Pyta settlement near Curuguaty, Paraguay.  Photo: Jorge Saenz/AP Photo

In this Nov 13 2012 photo, a farmer walks behind black flags representing 11 landless farmers who were killed during clashes with police in the Yvy Pyta settlement near Curuguaty, Paraguay. Photo: Jorge Saenz/AP Photo

ASUNCION — Lucia Aguero stood with the other farmers in the standoff. About 300 of them had occupied the rich politician’s land that they insisted wasn’t legally his. On the other side of the clearing were some 200 riot police. She watched as the two negotiators walked up to each other and began talking.

And then the shooting started.

The negotiators were both hit. The young woman threw herself to the ground, shielding a friend’s 4-year-old boy beneath her as she felt a bullet’s sting in her thigh. In the end, 17 were dead, including the men who were trying to resolve the six-week-old occupation. Continue reading

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Filed under Bioenergy / Agrofuels, Corporate Globalization, Industrial agriculture, Land Grabs, Latin America-Caribbean, Political Repression

Intercontinental Cry: Venezuela confirms there was no Yanomami massacre

By  Sep 10, 2012.  Source: Intercontinental Cry

Aerial view of Irotatheri village, Friday, Sept. 7, 2012. Photo: AP / AP

A little under two weeks ago, we received reports that the Yanomami village of Irotatheri in southern Venezuela had been decimated by unknown persons, presumably illegal gold miners from Brazil. Those reports came from firsthand sources through HORONAMI, a well-known Yanonami organization in Venezuela.After gathering as much information as it could, HORONAMI released a statement to the public which outlined what they had been told, that an entire village had been destroyed from their air, and what the government of Venezuela and Brazil should do in response.Following that release of information, the UK organization Survival International issued an alert of its own.

Not long after that, a string of stories were published by the BBC, the New York Times, Associated Press and many other corporate and alternative news providers, including Intercontinental Cry.

While these stories were being published, local indigenous organizations in Venezuela, fearing the worst, pressured authorities to carry out a formal investigation.

On August 29th, the government announced that it was setting up a formal commission to do just that. Two days later the government-appointed team began to scour the rainforest from the air. One day after that, they went home, satisfied that nothing happened.

Venezuela then issued an official response in which it denied that a massacre had taken place and that the story was nothing more than a media fabrication aimed at causing ‘uncertainty’ in the country.

Given that Venezuela (under President Hugo Chavez) is a favored punching bag for the United States, it was a possibility. However, the media did not ‘make’ anything. As noted earlier, they were merely reporting on what little information HORONAMI released to the public.

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Filed under Climate Change, Indigenous Peoples, Land Grabs, Latin America-Caribbean, Mining, Politics, Rights, Resilience, and Restoration

Indigenous community ‘wiped out’ by gold miners in southern Venezuela

By Ahni, August 30, 2012. Source: Intercontinental Cry

A Yanomami “shabono” (communal hut) similar to the one that was attacked from the air. Photo: larepublica.pe

An entire Yanomami community is believed to have been wiped out by illegal gold miners (garimpeiros) in southern Venezuela near the border with Brazil.

According to available testimony from three Yanomami survivors, who were out hunting on the day of the attack, in early July, a helicopter was seen flying over the remote village of Irotatheri, which is located in the headwaters of the Ocamo River in the Municipality of Alto Orinoco. The occupants of the helicopter then proceeded to destroy the community with firearms and, it appears,  explosives.

It is unclear how many people died in the attack, but it is known that 80 men, women, and children lived at Irotatheri village. To date, only three Yanomami  have been accounted for, the three hunters, who had to walk for six days to the nearest town of Parima-B to tell their story.

According to Luis Shatiwe Ahiwei, a leader of the  Horonami Yanomami Organization,  members of a nearby village went to Irotatheri to investigate. They encountered an unknown number of charred bodies and the community’s “shabono” (communal hut) burned to the ground.

On Aug 27, a joint statement (see below) was issued by HORONAMI and 13 other indigenous organizations mourning the attack and urging  the Venezuelan State to open a criminal investigation, “To come to the place of the massacre and to adopt bilateral agreements with Brazil to control and watch the movement of garimpeiros in the Upper Ocamo”. They also condemned the government’s failure to take action against the garimpeiros despite the various aggressions that took place leading up to this recent massacre.

As Luis Bello, a lawyer in Puerto Ayacucho who defends indigenous rights, explained to the Guardian, the allegations are merely the latest in a series of abuses. “Reports of garimpeiros attacking different communities are becoming more and more frequent, and now we also hear of rivers being poisoned with mercury. We’ve reported to the authorities but we are so far away that is it all easily forgotten,” Bello said.

On Aug 29, Venezuelan authorities announced that they were setting up a commission to investigate the recent allegations. Continue reading

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Filed under Indigenous Peoples, Land Grabs, Mining

Video: Representatives from Livingston, Guatemala Speak out Against Massacre

Source: The Guatemala Solidarity Project

The Guatemala Solidarity Project strongly condemns the continued presence of heavily armed men near the communities of Quebrada Seca, los Laureles and other q’eqchi’ communities in Livingston which have faced recent police, military and paramilitary violence.  We condemn the fact that the authors of last week’s massacre continue to control the area with impunity.

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Filed under Actions / Protest