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18 die in clash at Venezuelan gold mine

Gangs and mafias are fighting for the gold in the Venezuelan forests, while miners die because of the unlicensed and unsupervised mining in the Amazon forest. (Image courtesy of Venezuela Ministry of Tourism)

Eighteen people have been killed in Venezuela at an illegal gold mine following clashes with security forces.

On Sunday Associated Press reported that there was a confrontation in Bolivar state between an armed gang that was threatening wildcat miners. The army then travelled to the Cicapra mine to try and control the area. No soldiers were among the dead.

AP stated:

It was the most violent incident at a mine in Bolivar state since the bodies of 17 wildcat miners were found in a mass grave in 2016 after allegedly being killed by a criminal gang.

Violence has been on the rise in Bolivar as Venezuela’s cash-strapped government looks to open the resource-rich area to foreign investment amid an ongoing turf war in the lawless area between criminal gangs and the military.