Venezuela: new attack on indigenous leader

In the latest in a string of violent incidents related to land disputes in Venezuela's western Sierra de Perijá, on June 30 Yukpa indigenous leader Carmen "Anita" Fernández Romero and her son Luis Adolfo were wounded in an attack near her village of Kuse. According to reports, some 50 men armed with rifles and machetes set upon an encampment Fernández Romero and her family had established on the local hacienda El Carmen, which she asserts is on usurped Yukpa traditional lands. Members of the army and Boliviarian National Guard reportedly werre on hand, but did not intervene as the men began beating Fernández Romero and her son. Just four days earlier, another of Fernández Romero's sons, Cristóbal Fernández Fernández, 19, was killed—reportedly in a beating by National Guard troops. He was the third of Fernández Romero's sons to have met a violent death in the past five years. Fernández Romero is currently hospitalized, recovering from her injuries. She has been under an official order of protection since July 2012 following threats against her, but local environmental group Sociedad Homo Et Natura, which supports the Yukpa land struggle, asserts that it is going unenforced. (Entorno Inteligente, La Guarura, Aporrea, July 1; Aporrea, June 24)