Saturday, 13 November 2010

State of Obilivion revisited: First Nations dying


Many of Venezuela's First Nations are concentrated in the state of Amazonas. They are becoming a minority there due to legal and illegal immigration, due to the ecological impact from gold mining (one of the main reasons for that immigration) and due to the government's deglect.

Scientists from the Universidad de Carabobo (Northern Venezuela) went to the area and after three days of travel arrived to the Piaroa community of El Caño, in the Autana Municipality. They found native Americans there were suffering not only from turberculosis, but also from malnutrition. They also found a tiny "health centre" that has been under construction for the last 4 years...abandoned. I am sure resources used for one Aló Presidente in, say, Guárico, would be more than enough to build -actually to its real conclusion- a health centre with plenty of basic medical equipment.

Unfortunately, there seems to be little attention from politicians in the main urban centres. The area is mostly controlled by the military in Venezuela, it is of very difficult access and it is most of the time completely out of most urbanites' thoughts.

EFE had previously reported that Yanomamö have been dying by the dozens in Alto Orinoco Municipality. Malnutrition and all those other diseases are nothing new, but it is a tragedy that Venezuela's First Nations still have to go through all this in the XXI century.

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad you wrote this up -- I had the same El Universal article on my screen but hadn't gotten to it. One sad item is how the groups that stand up for the indigenous in Peru or Brazil fall silent on Venezuela. It's harder to go after a self-proclaimed socialist government while reaping donations in Berkeley.


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