Last Updated: Friday, 27 May 2016, 08:49 GMT

World Directory of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples - Venezuela : Pemón

Publisher Minority Rights Group International
Publication Date 2008
Cite as Minority Rights Group International, World Directory of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples - Venezuela : Pemón, 2008, available at: [accessed 29 May 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.


The Pemón live in the southeast region of Venezuela and according to the 2001 national census, they number around 27,270 people. Their traditional subsistence activities include agriculture, hunting and fishing.

Historical context

In 1993 the National Indian Council of Venezuela (CONIVE) protested against the signing of a contract for the development of Pemón land by the Ministry of Energy and Mines which would mean blasting part of the rock in Roraima National Park. Besides being in violation of Pemón religious beliefs, it brought into question the government's environmental policy. Although Pemón leaders have shown some support for the Chavez government, in 2001 they knocked down electrical towers and kidnapped executives of Corporación Venezolana de Guayana in protest of government plans to build an electrical plant.

Current issues

Although mining and tourism have provided some employment opportunities for the Pemón, they are divided on the extent to which these activities are negatively affecting their communities and territory.

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