Venezuelan Government Creates Special Commission to Investigate New Tumeremo Deaths

A special commission will investigate another alleged massacre in the southeastern mining town of Tumeremo. 


Caracas, October 13, 2016 ( – Venezuelan Interior Minister Nestor Reverol announced the launch of special commission to investigate another alleged massacre in Tumeremo, located in the southeastern state of Bolivar.

Last week, opposition legislator for Bolivar state Americo De Grazia denounced what he termed a “new massacre in Tumeremo”, alleging the murder of 11 miners in the community of Nuevo Callao.

De Grazia accused state security personnel operating under Operation Liberation of the People (OLP) of carrying out the killing in conjunction with local criminal groups, but failed to offer any evidence. 

On Tuesday, authorities recovered the bodies of two men in the mine, which they are working to identify. This past Friday, the body of Rosa Isabel Rivas Rojas, 29, was uncovered in the mine’s trash dump. 

Reverol, for his part, rejected the lawmaker’s accusations as “black propaganda … sowing terror in the people of Bolivar state.”

He indicated that the incident “would seem to be linked to criminal gangs that operate in these areas and want to exercise control over the illegal mining in Bolivar”, accusing De Grazia of himself having “contact” with these groups. 

A special commission headed by the regional military commander, General Leal Tellería, will investigate the incident in the coming weeks and months.

The latest deaths follow the discovery this past March of a mass grave containing 21 bodies in the Nuevo Callao mine, which are presumed to belong to 28 disappeared miners from Tumeremo. 

Two men were indicted by prosecutors in relation to the massacre in June.