Humanitarian organization Survival International made headlines last week when it announced that a village of the Yanomami, an indigenous people living in a remote region of Venezuela, had been massacred by gold miners. Now, it seems, Survival International is in the unenviable position of having to withdraw the story after Venezuelan authorities found the Yanomami alive and well. Read and cringe:
Venezuelan officials said a team sent to the area had found no bodies and no evidence of an attack.
The attack was alleged to have happened in the remote Irotatheri community, close to the border with Brazil.
Survival carried reports from Yanomami organisations which described how illegal gold miners had set fire to a communal house, and how witnesses said they had found burnt bodies.
There were said to be three survivors.
On Monday, Survival International said this account did not appear to be correct…
While Survival International states that the report was incorrect, other advocacy groups have claimed that the Venezuelan government simply may have found the wrong village. Survival International’s mistake is a regrettable one, but hopefully it won’t distract terribly much from the organization’s goal of advocating for the rights of indigenous peoples.