Caracas' Push for Illegal Mining Is Creating Problems for Its Neighbors

MIN READNov 20, 2018 | 09:00 GMT

A Colombian rescue crew evacuates a "victim" in a Brazilian air force helicopter as part of an earthquake simulation exercise conducted by air force members from Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Peru, Brazil and the United States at the Palenquero base in Puerto Salgar, Colombia, on Sept. 6, 2018. Crews from 12 countries took part in the "Angel de los Andes'" exercises, where they simulated rescue operations in several scenarios.


Venezuela's desperate attempts to offset the loss of revenue from its collapsing oil sector are creating headaches for its neighbors. During the past two years, the government has put in motion a survival strategy to replace its declining hydrocarbon income with proceeds from mining exports, often from illegal excavations operated by criminal and militant groups. But these illicit operations are spreading over the poorly patrolled borders into western Guyana and potentially into northern Brazil, meaning Caracas' game plan could soon come into direct conflict with the interests of those two countries....

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