Land is causing strife all across the
Amazon basin. Many of the
conflicts are sparked off by
the aggressive forays of miners and loggers into far-flung
areas of the Amazon as they
attempt to extract coal, gold
and timber. The groups
range from small miners
known locally as 'port
knockers' to giant timber
companies from faraway
Indonesia and Malaysia.
Conflicts have also been triggered by poor peasants in
search of land for farming
and government security
forces which have set off
bloody battles with indigenous people and landless
Perhaps the hardest hit by the influx of miners and loggers are groups like the Yanomani.on Jhe borders of Brazil and Venezuela who have never encountered industrial society. There are many other casualties too. "Killing of Indians by military and police forces have been reported from Wayuu and Yupka areas in the north-west of Venezuela," asserts Marcus Colchester of the World Rainforest Movement in a report titled Venezuela: Violation of Indigenous Rights. An equally hard blow is the loss of Wayuu and the Yupka land in the Sierra de la Perija to large, state-controlled open cast coal mines and oil drilling.
The so called development schemes have proved to be the bane of indigenous peoples in other parts of Venezuela as they contend with death, displacement and disease. A particularly bitter blow to the Perron, Kapon, Karina and Lokono peoples in Bolivar state near the border with Guyana is the conversion of their land into timber concessions.
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