Yanomami Tribe accuses Venezuela of neglect

More than 50 members of the Yanomami Tribe have died in the past three years, a situation being blamed on neglect by the government of Venezuela.

Tribal leaders say they no longer have access to medicine, fuel and reliable transportation because Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez expelled American missionaries from the Amazon rainforest. "This government makes a big show of helping the Yanomami, but rhetoric is one thing and reality another," Ramón González told The New York Times.

Chavez's administration denies the charges. American officials say he expelled the missionaries to embarrass President George W. Bush, who has criticized Chavez.

The Yanomami are one of the largest tribes in the Amazon, with about 26,000 living in Venezuela and Brazil.

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Rain Forest Tribe’s Charge of Neglect Is Shrouded by Religion and Politics (The New York Times 10/7)