What the Bolivarian Armed Forces are not going to be able to explain to the Venezuelan people is how if the military has the obligation to defend the territory and sovereignty, in addition to having the weapons of the Republic, They allowed no less than 12 thousand miners, national and foreign, to settle on Cerro Yapacana, to the south of Venezuela, to exploit gold, while polluting the rivers and attacking the environment. Fewer will be able to recognize that The Colombian guerrilla took over the big business in the areawhich in addition to gold, includes human trafficking, prostitution, exploitation and death. The most violent action was when last Wednesday part of the miners, mainly indigenous, who remained in the Yapacana confronted the military, in the sector Caciqueleaving three miners dead and several injured.
Although the Armed Forces’ excuse is supposed environmental preservation, it is not the beauty of the tepuy, which extends between the Orinoco and Ventuari rivers, that motivates the eviction of the national park; What the Venezuelan regime would actually hide is that the mines are exploited by national or foreign allied groups, as has happened with the Orinoco Mining Arc.
“Yes, it is true that indigenous people are often abused, but other times things are not as some indigenous human rights defenders make them out to be, because they use their origin to avoid being responsible for crimes or crimes. This is what happened on the national highway, they blocked it on three occasions and said that they were running over some indigenous people, but although they were indigenous, they were detained by the GNB transporting drugs, so the irregulars paid them 50 thousand pesos each, to that they would set up the bar near Puerto Páez,” a social leader from Puerto Ayacucho tells Infobae.
If many Amazonians seem to agree on something, it is that “in the mines there is a world of crime, drug trafficking, human trafficking, prostitution, everything the worst you can imagine. Nobody benefits. This supposed economic development never comes and will never come. People leave there sick, in debt, more impoverished than when they left, so what better quality of life is that?”
A miner, originally from the state of Zulia, who asked not to be identified, told Infobae on Sunday, September 10, that “the military looted us. We know that we are illegal here, but we are not here because we want to, but because of the situation, because the other thing is to go to another country and be humiliated. There has been inhumane treatment. There are children, elderly people. Here there are people from all the states of Venezuela. I speak softly, because I am in danger by talking to you. “We need human rights and a guarantee for Venezuelan miners.”
On Wednesday, September 13, the maracucho insists on speaking with Infobae, “one is aware of the damage we are doing to the park, but the need has the face of a dog. Here the situation is getting worse; There are already wounded and dead. The military is attacking the people and it is most likely that these deaths will go unpunished and they will say that they were from terrorist groups, but there are only Venezuelan civilians here.”
On Thursday, September 7, journalist Luis Alejandro Acosta Romero sends a video from Mina Nueva, where he assures that in Monterrey the people of the mine are in resistance “and if the Armed Forces go again, the Creole population will leave again.” and the indigenous to defend themselves; They won yesterday because they are organized to confront the Armed Forces,” he adds that he went through several areas that no longer exist “because unfortunately the population did not unite,” but he affirms that Mina Nueva and Cacique are very populated.
In the case of Mina Nueva he said that the eviction was going to be very difficult. “It is heard that in Cacique and Mina Nueva the communities are going to restore themselves, they are going to defend their territories, they talk about dead people, God willing there are none, but here there will be no eviction. Will the military be prepared to confront a people? because no videos of deaths have yet been seen, which is what is approaching in Yapacana. They are eliminating the strong mines and are in resistance, they are willing for there to be “two, three or five deaths.”
He adds that he had been able to “speak with relevant military personnel and they do not want to do this, they do not want to confront the people; Let’s stop thinking that the military are the bad guys, because there is a group that is humanist, that is attached to the Law, but they are receiving national instructions, and otherwise they will be relieved of their positions as generals or put in prison.”
“I find that those who are aggressive are the Amazonas police officers and that is worrying, that our police officers, who we all know each other, who see each other in Puerto Ayacucho, are the aggressive ones, the ones who burned the mines, they had no mercy. to burn their camps, steal their plants and flowers. The little necklaces that the miners carry, which are containers with gold, were burst,” Acosta says in the video.
The next day, September 8, Alejandro Acosta, who in addition to being a journalist is indigenous and political secretary of the Democratic Action party in the state of Amazonas, was arrested.
Without a doubt, the fact that Acosta made videos that he published on WhatsApp caused special concern among the military who, on the one hand, with the help of journalists from the Government’s propaganda media, made people believe that the Yapacana eviction process was being carried out. in concert with the miners, when in reality there were previous threats and coercion, coupled with the repression that led to nearly 10 thousand miners abandoning or being, in recent months, expelled from the Yapacana.
Furthermore, the main interest of the irregular groups is to continue with mining while they attracted the interest of army troops who could be convinced to join the exploitation of the mines, an offer not inconsiderable given the miserable social security conditions of the soldiers sent to that border area.
The videos that Acosta made in defense of mining undoubtedly exposed the Armed Forces, who detained him and placed him under the orders of the Public Ministry, who charged him, on September 12, with three crimes.: exercise of illegal mining in the form of promotion and incitement, occupation of protected areas and incitement to commit crimes. The Court granted him precautionary measures, but the Public Ministry exercised suspensive effects so that he would be deprived of his liberty.
Several indigenous people and members of NGOs that defend the native communities of the area said, in conversation with Infobae, that Acosta was not in the mines for purely journalistic activities, but because of his relationship with irregular groups, especially the mining mafias controlled by the guerrillas from the dissidents of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the National Liberation Army (ELN).
“The guerrillas refuse to abandon the great business that the Yapacana represents for them, they are the ones who have deceived the indigenous people, who are allowed to exploit the mines, but the great profits go to the irregulars and some soldiers who are in that business; “Our communities live in misery, because those who get rich are the guerrillas who are behind, stoking the fire so that the small miners show their faces in exchange for misery,” says an indignant indigenous woman.
Although many inhabitants of Amazonas have worked in the mines, there is a general rejection of the Amazonians for what happens in the Yapacana. “There are many interests here that Operation Autana will fail because the irregulars are financed from there, who are the ones who use the miners and the journalist Acosta to protect what is happening with mining,” says a journalist who works with a NGO on the border.
He adds that “here we know that Alejandro Acosta was not working as a journalist but as a propagandist for irregular groups. He is not a serious professional, on the contrary, rather very questioned, but his relationship with the guerrilla in this case of the mines was very evident and that is something that harms the exercise of the press because the guerrillas are criminals who have threatened us. people, indigenous people, journalists or whatever,” he ends by saying.
On the other hand, political sources assure Infobae that “in the last National Assembly elections, Acosta Romero called himself coordinator of opposition political parties, with some Colombian politicians, he was negotiating financial support for them and here we, without knowing anything, did even official letters and communications using the party logos. When we complained about it, Acosta said that what he was getting was getting a few million pesos for each game. We refused to sign anything to him and appear in his tricks, so he ended up fleeing to Inírida, where he lives in a peripheral area, in a humble little house made of wooden boards and plastic bags.”
The day after the most critical day, since Operation Autana began, which contemplates the eviction of the miners from the Cacique mine, Cerro Yapacana, the Minister of Defense, GJ Vladimir Padrino López, signs a statement, informing that “the day of Yesterday, September 13, 400 military personnel proceeded to evict, dismantle and destroy more than 500 clandestine structures used for illegal mining, in the Cacique sector, Atabapo municipality.”
“At the time of the boarding, when all the people present were ordered to peacefully leave the sector; A group of miners unexpectedly and premeditatedly attacked the officials with knives and firearms. This irresponsible action resulted in 02 people dead and 03 injured, as well as 03 military personnel also injured,” adding that all the injured were receiving medical attention in the military and public health network.
It is striking that the military chief has recalled that the Cerro Yapacana National Park is an Area Under the Special Administration Regime and State Security and Defense Zone, which is why “the carrying out of mining activities is expressly prohibited,” adding that “more than 12 thousand people have been evicted,” without explaining how those thousands of people occupied the border area, when the Bolivarian National Armed Forces (FANB) is constitutionally responsible for the custody of Venezuelan territory.
Padrino López asserted that “after illegal mining, a countless number of crimes are generated such as forced labor and prostitution, human trafficking, smuggling and environmental depredation, stating that they are crimes sponsored by Armed Terrorists Drug Traffickers of Colombia, Tancol, the name invented by the head of the Strategic Operational Command of the Armed Forces (Ceofanb), GJ Domingo Hernández Lárez to hide calling them “guerrillas” whether from the National Liberation Army (ELN) or the dissidents of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia ( FARC).