Bolivar is one of 23 states in Venezuela, and right now it may be home to one of the most gruesome and tragic incidents in recent memory.
Families and witnesses say that gang members attacked the group of miners on Friday, murdering them, dismembering their bodies, and then throwing them into an awaiting truck. The public prosecutor’s office announced on Sunday that it was opening up a formal investigation into the matter, but the office is meeting some resistance.
State governor Francisco Rangel is denying that any alleged massacre took place, writing on Twitter, “Once again, irresponsible politicians are trying to sow chaos in Bolivar state with FALSE information about murdered miners.”
The miners were apparently operating at the gold stake illegally, and when a gang attempted to control the claim, violence erupted, ending with the disappearance of the miners. Juan José Coello, father to one of the miners, last spoke with his son on Friday before the alleged incident. He told AP that he’s “not asking for justice,” further stating, “I’m just asking that they return the body of my son, so I can give him a Christian burial.”
Pockets of Venezuela have turned into war zones, with local gangs competing to take control of illegal mining sites. As this story progresses, we’ll keep you abreast of any developments.
(via The Guardian)