Venezuela: Over 20 Fatalities Following Gold Mine Collapse

    Venezuela: Over 20 Fatalities Following Gold Mine Collapse
    Photo: Mark Peterson/Corbis News via Getty Images (March 1, 1997)

    The Facts

    • An illegal gold mine collapsed in the jungles of the Venezuelan state of Bolivar, with one official stating that 23 bodies had been recovered from the open pit known as Bulla Loca.

    • Following the fatal collapse, residents from the nearby town of La Paragua voiced frustration over what they called a slow response from the government.

    The Spin

    Pro-establishment narrative

    Nicolas Maduro's government has left Venezuelans no other choice than to travel to rural Bolivar and risk their lives in the dangerous illegal mining industry. Government officials — who are supposed to be cracking down on this criminal enterprise — are ignoring and even participating in these abusive operations. The government should be protecting its people from such horrors, not aiding their criminal abusers.

    Establishment-critical narrative

    While Maduro has struggled to cope with falling oil revenue, the reason behind this failing economy is due to US interventions in Venezuelan elections as well as sanctions on its oil industry. For decades now, the US foreign policy establishment has knee-capped every populist politician whose agenda was to democratize government and industry, which is why the people have now been forced into poverty and thus illegal means of making an income.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 65% chance that the US will sanction Venezuelan oil again by 2030, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

    Establishment split



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