MAC/20: Mines and Communities

New conflicts between miners and Indigenous communities in Venezuela

Published by MAC on 2005-11-29


New conflicts between miners and Indigenous communities in Venezuela

29th November 2005

Six years ago the World Bank, CARE and the UK's /DFID cobbled together, in the "Business Partners for Development" programme (BPD), a "tri-sectoral" project to succour responsible mining. Later, Price Waterhouse Coopers, the huge global accountancy firm, identified the Las Cristinas mine in the Kilometres 88 region of Venezuela as one of the programme’s two "successes." Placer Dome had enabled small scale miners to access some of its lease area and set up a health programme.

In fact, Las Cristinas has been anything but a social success. First the army was called into "mediate" between Placer and Crystallex while they wrested for control of the lease and - as this report shows - conflicts between company and small scale miners, and between Indigenous communities and miners, continue to erupt.

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