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Soldiers Kill Amazonians In Row Over Wi-Fi Password

Soldiers Kill Amazonians In Row Over Wi-Fi Password

The killings reportedly happened after the tribe refused to give gold to the Venezuelan soldiers

A row over the changing of a Wi-Fi password reportedly led to four Amazonian tribe members being shot dead by Venezuelan soldiers.

The incident took place near the Brazilian border, in a remote part of the Amazon called Parima B, The Telegraph reports.

Being close to a Venezuelan military base, there had previously been an understanding that the tribe could use the base's internet, mainly as a way of alerting the authorities whenever somebody was conducting illegal gold mining on their land.

There are thought to be around 38,000 members of the Yanomami tribe, who spread themselves across 18 million hectares of Amazonian rainforest.

Amazon rainforest on fire (Alamy)
Amazon rainforest on fire (Alamy)

However, the group's normally peaceful relations with the Venezuelan army became strained recently, when a change of personnel led to the Wi-Fi password being changed.

Unaware of the prior agreement that was in place, the bemused soldiers reportedly refused to give the tribe members the password after some of them complained.

Local reports suggest that a heated argument then ensued, leading to the tragic killing of a 45-year-old woman, two 22-year-old men, and a 30-year-old man.

Spanish paper El Pais claims the fracas was first ignited by the soldiers demanding gold in return for the Wi-Fi password.

Video footage has since emerged, which purports to show what happened in the immediate aftermath of the killings.

Man of the Yanomami tribe sewing.

A high-ranking general is approached by a group who say: “You guys are supposed to come take care of us. They didn’t have to use weapons like that,” while crying is audible in the background.

This isn't the first time that a dispute with the tribe has led to violence in the region. It's thought that as many as 40,000 legal gold miners arrived in the area in the 1980s, which was followed by some illegal chancers remaining after the practice was outlawed in 1992.

One year after the law was passed, 16 locals were killed by miners.

Fast forward to the modern day, and Venezuelan officials have been dispatched to the area to try and piece together the series of events that led to the death of four tribe members.

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Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Amazon, Military