Category Archives: Illegal Mining

Miners Cause Conflict Over Venezuela National Parks

On the 22nd of March, 2017 the current president of the Central American country, Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, announced the rebuilding of Caura National Park in the basin of the river of the same name. This is done in order to protect the hydroelectric potential of the site, biodiversity of the land and to further enact environmental sanitation for the negative effects caused by illegal mining, as required in the decree which was published just 24 hours earlier.

The decision is responding to the demand for more than twenty years of community environmental activists of long standing, who had to some extent, already achieved the Supreme Court in 2008 which put an end to forest concessions in the area and then in 2014 to order the central government to change figure Forest Reserve to develop a more restrictive law that would help to prevent possible mining concessions as well as stop the cutting down of forestry.

However, although there seems to be a valid demand for the preservation of the biodiverse area, the reconstructing of the Caura National Park was less than well received. This is because the newly protected area, has also been created on the very same territory as the Zone 2 Arc Mining and traverse, for more than 15 years, which claims the indigenous tribal people of the Sanema and Yekwuana as ancestral territory. The rights acquired with the new 1999 Constitution which is then expanded with the Indigenous Peoples Act 2005, made this possible. Prior to this unfair set of legislations, the claims made by Zone 2 Arc Mining, had been empty, having no legal and institutional support to back it up.

And according to all sources consulted by Mongabay Latam for this report, the government did not meet the legal requirements for the creation of the National Park Caura. Previous, informed and free consultations were held, indigenous peoples and the environmental studies provided for in the law were presented, which should also be evaluated by the National Assembly.