By Noelani Kirschner / ShareAmerica / Edited by Diálogo Staff March 27, 2020 A new report from Human Rights Watch (HRW) details the gruesome conditions that gold miners in Venezuela are forced to endure.Twelve percent of Venezuela, a country rich in natural resources such as oil, diamonds and uranium, has gold and mineral deposits.In Venezuela’s southern Bolívar state, pro-Maduro civilian armed groups force miners to work, employing physical abuse and fear tactics to control gold production.The Maduro regime allows the groups using these tactics to oversee gold mining operations. According to the report, witnesses have reported seeing a top government official patrolling mines.HRW spent two years collecting testimonials from Venezuelan gold miners and people living in gold mining towns.According to the report, “many mines in Bolívar are under the tight control of Venezuelan syndicates or Colombian armed groups,” such as the guerrilla organization the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC, in Spanish), and the National Liberation Army (ELN, in Spanish).These armed groups enforce arbitrary “laws” to instill fear and keep order among mining communities. They accuse miners and innocent civilians of theft before publicly cutting off their fingers and hands, and, in extreme cases, executing them, according to witnesses interviewed for the report.There is no enforced judicial system to protect the victims.The gold mines, located in the southern part of the country, operate in close proximity to indigenous communities. As a result, indigenous people are often forced to work in the mines against their will.The working conditions of mines are hazardous. Toxic amounts of mercury are used to clean the gold ore, and there are little to no safety measures taken to prevent workplace injury.The report details how a 16-year-old boy sustained a spinal fracture from a falling log that hit him as he was using a high-pressure hose without any protective gear.Additionally, in testimony before the U.S. Congress on illicit mining in Venezuela, a U.S. State Department official reported that people in mining communities are “exploited in forced labor or sex trafficking, compelled through violence and fear by the group running the mine. There have been reports that in some regions, the average age of sex trafficking victims is 13–14 years old.”The HRW report says miners are forced to give up to 80 percent of their gold to the syndicates, and town residents must pay gold to armed groups to keep their businesses operational.The HRW report underscores the concerns voiced by Interim President and National Assembly leader Juan Guaidó at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. He requested that Venezuela’s allies stop purchasing Venezuelan gold until human rights abuses end.“The first thing to do is to stop the illegal traffic of gold,” Guaidó said, according to Reuters. “It’s blood gold.”
Next year all Big Ten Conference games will have an independent trainer seated in the press box. This trainer will have a complete monitor system to observe each athlete who may take a hard hit while playing the game. They will also be in direct contact with the officials on the field. After any suspicious incident on the field they can call down to the official who will then stop the game. A doctor on the sidelines will be called to check out the athlete, and he must clear the said athlete before they may return.So far this will only be done for Big Ten Conference games and has not yet been approved for their non-conference schedule. This seems to be the league’s response to the Shane Morris incident that occurred at Michigan in a game in September. Morris took a hard hit and came out of the game. I am not sure what procedure took place on the sideline, but Coach Hoke sent him back into the ball game. It was discovered after the game that Morris had suffered a concussion and should have been sent immediately to the locker room and not allowed to even be on the sidelines for the rest of that game.This monitoring system will now take all the temptations away from a coaching staff and place them in the hands of medical personnel who will make all decisions on who plays and who doesn’t after a hard hit.
Share The Jockey Club names Delia Bushell as group chief executive July 30, 2019 StumbleUpon Share Related Articles Submit Jockey Club brings back £1m Chase Triple Crown prize money September 9, 2019 Paul Fisher confirms departure as Jockey Club Racecourses CEO January 15, 2020 After being launched this summer by The Jockey Club’s Simon Bazalgette and Paul Fisher, Global Venue Services (GVS) will support equine and other sports industry stakeholders in accessing financial capital by launching its ‘Global Venue Finance’ subsidiary.‘GV Finance’ will work closely with Andrews Bowen, an equine and sports surfaces and equipment company, as well as a group of finance providers chosen for their experience within sport and asset finance to help industry members cover the capital costs of projects.Immediate clients will include customers of Andrews Bowen, to help them to raise finance to install gallops and other sports surfaces, and spread the cost of capital installations over several years. The service will rapidly be expanded to other categories of capital purchase.Paul Fisher, CEO of GVS, said: “The launch of GVS’s first operating business, GV Finance, aims to help sport businesses to invest in their future at a time when sport has suffered from the COVID-19 lockdown.“By working with a world leader in Andrews Bowen we’re expecting significant demand, which will also allow us to expand the range of services and products we can offer. We’ve worked closely together with the finance providers and potential customers to develop the offering and ensure it provides access to the type of innovative financing needed.”Given the strain placed on UK racecourses during the COVID-19 lockdown, GV Finance has predicted that there will be an uptick in demand for financial support to offer equine facilities.GV Finance and Andrews Bowen will offer a fully serviced option to increase the lifespan of the gallop or surface and improve the financing options.Andrews Bowen also offer additional services such as stable construction and maintenance, while GV Finance has committed to assisting their customers to access finance for this expenditure.David Andrews, Director of Andrews Bowen, concluded: ”Having seen the challenges that equestrian and wider sports businesses are facing with the current crisis, I’m pleased that by working with GVS we’re able to offer finance solutions to allow investment to speed up the return from the lockdown for those businesses.“Andrews Bowen has proven its ability to innovate with its Equaflow system and GV Finance is the latest example. We’ve known Paul and Simon for many years and their level of innovation and integrity matches our own, so they were the perfect partners to work with us to put GV Finance together.”