(New York, February 4, 2020) – Residents of Venezuela’s southern Bolívar state are suffering amputations and other horrific abuses at the hands of armed groups, including Venezuelan groups called “syndicates” in the area and Colombian armed groups operating in the region, both of which exercise control over gold mines, Human Rights Watch said today. The armed groups seem to operate largely with government acquiescence, and in some cases government involvement, to maintain tight social control over local populations.