Coltan mining, a scourge in the Northeastern D.R.Congo that has affected the Mbuti people, has more recently been dividing and threatening the Piaroa of Venezuela. A lengthy news story published last week by a group called the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) discussed the recent history of coltan in Venezuela and its effects […]

On Friday May 12, at 8:00 o’clock in the evening, Freddy Menare, a prominent Piaroa leader, was assassinated in Puerto Ayacucho, the capital city of Venezuela’s Amazonas state. The as-yet unidentified gunmen shot the 48-year old man in the back while he walked along Orinoco Avenue, a busy commercial street near the indigenous market in […]

The Piaroa not only eat giant spiders that they find in the forests of southern Venezuela, they use them for their shamanic purposes. A European TV channel that specializes in culture and arts programing, the Association Relative à la Télévision Européenne (ARTE), sent a crew to Venezuela in order to broadcast last week a program […]

Gregori, a grandson of the elderly shaman José Antonio Bolívar, tells the reporter, in the words of Google’s translation, “yopo is our diamond and we are here to share the highlights.” The Piaroa man adds that his grandfather can use his drugs as medicines to cure diseases, to cause pregnancies, and to purify people’s souls. […]

El Universal, a major Venezuelan newspaper, published a feature last week on the reasons for the recent disruptions and threats to the Piaroa people south of the Orinoco River. The major reason, according to the paper, is coltan, which is now being mined in the area. “Coltan” is short for columbite-tantalite, a scarce mineral ore […]

Piaroa women, and their colleagues in surrounding communities, are becoming increasingly concerned about the violence that illegal miners and armed rebel gangs bring into their territories. The Organización de Mujeres Indígenas de Autana(OMIDA), a group based in the Amazonas State of Venezuela and composed primarily of Piaroa women, though with the support of females from […]

Last Thursday, Katiushka Borges uploaded to Youtube an effective video she produced about a Piaroa community and their upcoming huarime festival, to which visitors are cordially invited. Ms. Borges gives her email address and welcomes contacts from viewers who are thinking of attending. The video is clearly intended for a widespread audience, for comments made […]