Minister Padrino López: We will not allow ecocides in Canaima

The Sectoral Vice President of Political, Security and Peace Sovereignty (G / J) Vladimir Padrino López, lamented on Tuesday the death of Charlie Peñaloza, a young indigenous man of the Pemón community who died during a confrontation recorded in the morning hours of Saturday, December 8, in the Gran Sabana municipality, Arenales sector of the Canaima National Park, as part of an operation against illegal mining.

In a press conference from the Vice Presidency of the Republic, in Caracas, Padrino López, who was accompanied by the head of the Operational Strategic Command of the Bolivarian National Armed Forces (Ceofanb), Remigio Ceballos, explained that the death of the 21-year-old boy happened after a group of people “rose in arms against the troops that led the military operation”.

The confrontation resulted in four injured people, among them the now deceased, who were immediately evacuated from the area and transferred to a health center in Ciudad Bolivar, where they received medical attention, as he explained.

During the operation, several mining gold extraction ponds were located and destroyed, equipped with machinery for the deep extraction of this mineral, vessels that cause serious damage to the vegetation layer.

The Defense Minister was also emphatic in pointing out that they will not allow crimes against the environment in Canaima to continue, so he warned that behind these indigenous brothers are the gold mafias, many of them “associated with the Venezuelan political opposition”.

“The mafias are present with all their economic power and all their international connection. This is not an isolated topic, this issue has an intentional internationality behind the scenes. All the imperial factors there to put the indigenous community against the Venezuelan government. They will not achieve it, because those who gave visibility to the indigenous communities have been precisely the Bolivarian Revolution”.

He asked the indigenous community, to which he reiterated his support, not to be manipulated by exogenous factors: “Here we are, facing the people of Venezuela and the Pemón people, so you know that we will not allow under any circumstance these exploitation practices to continue happening in Bolívar state”.

He also informed that the Public Ministry is practicing all the procedures that this case merits, with the transparency that characterizes this institution, reiterating that they have nothing to hide.

The Ceofanb will continue executing the Tepuy Protector plan in the area, an integral security device that has among its objectives the preservation of the entire Gran Sabana, in permanent dialogue with the indigenous communities and in strict respect of the constitutional authority.