At least eight people were killed overnight in Bolivar state after an armed group entered a remote community and began firing on the inhabitants. At least one of the people killed was a Pemon indigenous person, while another was a National Guard soldier.
VPiTV, an independent media outlet, is reporting that all of the victims were shot in the head.
PROVEA, a Venezuelan human rights NGO, reported that the community’s indigenous population had reported previously that “armed groups” had been operating in the region, which is rich in mineral resources including gold.
The killings took place in a community called Ikabaru, located near the the border with Brazil.
Bolivar state has been the site of massacres in recent years as a result of criminal enterprises fighting for control of gold mining in the region. In 2016, 28 gold miners were murdered in Tumeremo, located in the northern part of the state.
Guaido Blames Regime for Massacre
Opposition leader Juan Guaido gave a fiery speech today in Valencia, Carabobo state, where he promised to quick guerrilla groups operating in Venezuela “with bullets”, if necessary, referencing the Ikabaru massacre.
Guaido blamed Maduro for allowing criminal groups to operate with impunity in Venezuela, calling him “a failure”. He also accused Maduro of having ties to Colombian guerrilla groups, namely the Ejercito de Liberacion Nacional (ELN), which he alleges the regime finances through gold smuggling operations.
On the presence of the ELN in Venezuela, Guaido said:
If we have to repel the ELN with bullets, then, we’ll repel them with bullets.
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