Caracas, 23 September 2022 (TDI): Administrator of USAID Samantha Power announced $376 million in financial assistance for the refugee crisis in Venezuela. This financial assistance aims at helping the ones who have fled from their homeland along with the ones hosting them.

The UN Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela (FFMV) released a report on the 20th of September 2022. In this report, the FFMV has reported all the details of the human rights violations happening in Bolívar.

Venezuelan crisis

The FFMV report states, in 2016, the Venezuelan Government established Arco Minero del Orinoco as a “National Strategic Development Zone”. They took this decision after facing a crisis in the domestic oil industry. The purpose was to extend control over gold and mineral mining.

The gold and mineral mines were basically situated in the southern state of Bolívar. Since the establishment of Arco Minero del Orinoco, military troops were moved to this region.

Despite the militarization of this region, armed criminal groups openly continued controlling the mines and populations. Then the clashes started over the hold of gold and other resources.

This report documents the atrocities of both state and non-state armed groups on the local communities. In the struggle to get complete control over the mining areas, the armed groups committed human rights violations.

Patricia Tappatá Valdez, Member of the FFMV said, “The situation in Bolívar state and other mining areas is deeply troubling. Local populations, including indigenous peoples, are caught in the violent battle between State and armed criminal groups for the control of gold.”

She added, “Our report highlights the need for further investigation of this region which is, paradoxically, an almost forgotten area of the country that at the same time generates large amounts of both licit and illicit wealth from minerals,”.

According to the report, these violations included disappearances, extortion, corporal punishment, and sexual and gender-based violence. The authorities have failed to prevent and investigate such abuses.

Also read: Colombia prepares to open borders with Venezuela

In the wake of such atrocities, a huge number of people fled from Venezuela to seek refuge. These refugees along with their hosts required immediate financial assistance to rebuild their livelihoods.

USAID has decided to stand in solidarity with the refugees and the ones who welcomed those refugees.