Brazil presses Venezuela on alleged Amazon massacre

By REUTERS
September 1, 2012 05:38

 
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Caracas - Brazil said on Friday it is pressing Venezuela to determine whether Brazilian gold miners crossed the border and massacred a village of about 80 indigenous people from a helicopter.

The alleged assault, which a tribal group says could have killed more than 70 people in early July, came to light earlier this week when the group asked Venezuela's government to investigate. Because of the remoteness of the region and the scattered nature of the native settlements, fellow tribe members were able to alert the government only on Monday.

Brazil's Foreign Ministry said on Friday its embassy in Caracas had asked the Venezuelan government to provide it with any information that could help it determine whether the attack had happened and whether Brazilians had been involved.

Brazil's National Indian Foundation, a government body that oversees indigenous affairs, said it would seek a joint investigation by officials from both countries at the site.

The border area between the two countries - a long, dense swath of the Amazon rainforest - has increasingly become the site of conflicts between indigenous people, gold miners, and others seeking to tap jungle resources.

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