Venezuela: HIV outbreak in Warao indigenous group allegedly linked to local mining, oil industry

Author: Survival International, Published on: 14 January 2016

“Progress Can Kill: HIV ‘epidemic’ strikes Venezuelan Indians” 14 Jan 2016

Experts have revealed that an HIV “epidemic” is decimating the Warao tribe in Venezuela… The news is a shocking illustration of the devastating consequences of loss of land and autonomy on tribal peoples… HIV was unknown to the Warao until relatively recently – the first cases were registered in 2007. A particularly aggressive strain of the virus is now present in dozens of Warao communities, and is spreading fast… Experts say HIV was brought to the tribe by illegal miners. In addition, many Warao have migrated to nearby towns to look for work after the pollution of their rivers by oil companies, and have been infected by non-Indians... Survival is calling for the United Nations to enforce better protection of tribal land rights...

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