The Ombudsman, Carlos Camargo Assis, called on the national government and the departmental authorities in Vichada and Guainía to formulate and activate contingency plans due to a possible deportation or eventual return of approximately 7,000 Colombians from Venezuela.
The compatriots, according to the information compiled by the Ombudsman’s Office, are working in the gold extraction mines in the Cerro Yapacana National Park, Amazonas state of the neighboring country.
Their work, direct or indirect, exposes them to the violation of the fundamental rights to integrity, liberty, security or life. Indigenous communities, population in condition of socioeconomic vulnerability, women, girls, boys and adolescents are at risk.
The Ombudsman’s Office issued Early Warning 003 of 2023, in which they warn not only of the dangers for the civilian population due to possible armed confrontations in the areas of mining exploitation in the state of Amazonas, but also of what could cause a massive expulsion of Colombians who depend on this activity in the southern zone of the Venezuelan Orinoquía.
The Yapacana mines, which are relatively close to Inírida, three hours away by river, are attractive to people from the entire Orinoquía region, since they find a livelihood in this activity, despite the presence of armed groups on the fringes. of the law. In the event of a massive deportation, it would become the largest mass exodus in recent decades, with the departments of Vichada and Guainía as reception sites.
The military operations initiated at the end of 2022 by troops from the neighboring country would have triggered the capture of Colombians. Some of the extraction points, being an illegal activity that threatens the territories and affects the environment, are in the process of being closed or regulated.
Likewise, he requested that they open the consulates in San Fernando de Atapabo and Puerto Ayacucho, as well as the Venezuelan consulate in Inírida.