Comisión para los Derechos Humanos del Estado Zulia

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INDIGENOUS PEOPLE IN ZULIA ARE IN SITUATION OF DESPAIR

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Codhez

Octubre 30, 2020

The August 2020 Summary on the general situation of human rights in Zulia focuses on the documentation on the living conditions of the citizens who belong to the indigenous peoples and communities that inhabit the region. Specifically, the current circumstances related to the human rights of the indigenous population, whose observance has been ignored by the Venezuelan State, are mentioned, an issue that is evidenced in the deficient provision of electric service, drinking water, domestic gas, health, education, public transport, among others. This panorama has worsened since March with the application of restrictive measures related to collective and social quarantine.

According to the last census of 2011, the indigenous population in Zulia consists of 443,544 inhabitants, distributed among the Wayuu and Añú peoples whose habitat is situated in La Guajira (north of Zulia, on the border with Colombia), and the Barí indigenous peoples, Japreria and Yukpa, whose habitat is located in the Sierra de Perijá (west of Zulia state, also on the border with Colombia). These territories represent the natural habitat of these peoples, although for years they have moved throughout the region, and for this reason some communities are found in other municipalities, particularly in Maracaibo.

This August 2020 Summary is dedicated to indigenous peoples and communities because the International Day of Indigenous Peoples is commemorated on August 9 of each year, a date that in 1982 laid the foundations of the working groups on these peoples within the United Nations. These working groups have issued a set of international instruments that are aimed at the promotion, protection and defense of the rights of indigenous peoples around the world. One of the most relevant has been the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, approved in 2007. Meanwhile, in the inter-American sphere, the American Declaration on the
Rights of Indigenous Peoples was approved in 2016. 
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This Summary also follows up the functional crisis of the national public health system under the Covid-19 pandemic. There are still failures in infrastructure, supplies and sanitary implements that are evidenced in the rise in the number of infections and deaths, and alarmingly in the increase in deaths of health personnel. These circumstances ratify the repeated failure of the Venezuelan State to comply with its obligation to guarantee the right to health and access to quality health care services in the region.

 

Download Codhez's August 2020 bulletin concerning the overall human rights situation in Zulia 

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