Gladys Guaipo, a deputy and president of the National Assembly’s Permanent Commission on Indigenous Peoples, warned during the virtual session of Parliament of the risk to vulnerable indigenous communities in Bolivar and Delta Amacuro States as a result of the outbreak of the coronavirus in the country.
“The serious situation due to the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting our indigenous peoples. This is added to the lack of medical assistance to these populations in total abandonment, which is a systematic violation of human rights (…) The coronavirus is causing deaths in the Venezuelan Waraos brothers and they do not appear in the national statistics,” said the legislator.
She also confirmed 40 positive cases of members of this ethnic group who are now in the town of São João da Boa Vista, Brazil, after they were forced to emigrate due to the critical situation in Venezuela.
In view of this, the legislator made a call, on behalf of the legitimate Venezuelan Legislative Power, to international organizations, among which she mentioned the World Health Organization (WHO), to provide the attention required by this vulnerable population.
She also mentioned the critical situation of Bolivar State, after the spread of the pandemic in Manaus, in view of the permanent traffic of citizens between the border cities. “In Venezuela we do not have the supplies to detect those asymptomatic, contaminated cases of our indigenous people and to take the measures of social isolation, according to the protocols of the WHO,” she said.
Before finishing her intervention, Guaipó aserted her commitment that once the confinement imposed in Venezuela is over, the Permanent Commission of Indigenous Peoples will travel to verify in situ the situation of the Warao people and other indigenous groups affected by the disease.