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UN report: Criminal gangs are controlling and exploit Venezuela’s gold, and bauxite mineworkers

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Mineworkers

As per Reuters, some bauxite, gold, and diamond mines in the Venezuelan Amazon are to a great extent controlled by criminal gangs who exploit, beat, and even murder laborers, a United Nations investigation report finds.

Michelle Bachelet, U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, stated in a statement, “Government officials should immediately find a way to end labor exploitation, human trafficking, and child labor. They should destroy criminal gangs controlling mining exercises.”

The UN human rights stated in a report on Wednesday that Venezuelan military and security forces failed to check crimes against mineworkers. Venezuela’s diplomat, Jorge Valero, dismissed the UN report in a speech that didn’t explicitly specify mining.

According to the UN reports, nearly 150 workers have died in the mines from March 2016 to 2020, with security forces involved in half of the episodes. It stated, including that the legislature had not responded to its solicitation for the required information. However, it alluded to an area known as the Orinoco Mining Arc, which stated that “Much of the mining within and beyond AMO is controlled by few organized criminal gangs.”

The miners include children who don’t have legal employment contracts and many are exposed to mercury and get ill with malaria, the report expressed.

Criminal gangs have gotten increasingly active since permits for foreign mining companies were ended in 2011, the report included. The UN has asked President Nicolas Maduro to regularize mining exercises and ensure labor workers’ security and that they meet international legal and environmental laws.

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