Clash Over WiFi Password Turns Deadly for Remote Tribe

Venezuelan soldiers reportedly reneged on deal to share network with Yanomami
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 1, 2022 12:27 PM CDT
Updated Apr 3, 2022 8:50 AM CDT
Clash Over WiFi Password Turns Deadly for Remote Tribe
In this file photo, members of the Yanomami tribe dance in their village in Venezuela's Amazon region.   (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

A clash between Venezuelan soldiers and members of the Yanomami tribe in the Amazon turned deadly over the most unlikely of reasons: a WiFi password. The dispute left four members of the Indigenous tribe dead and three more injured, reports the Washington Post. Three soldiers also were reported injured. The incident took place at a military base near the Brazilian border, where the military had agreed to share use of an internet router with the tribe. At some point, the military changed the password without telling the Yanomami, but soldiers refused to share the new one when members of the tribe turned up at the base, reports the Telegraph. The confrontation escalated into violence involving guns, as well as bows and arrows.

"This is unprecedented," Cristina Burelli of the conservation group SOS Orinoco tells the Post. "It is the first time soldiers have turned their weapons on this ancient tribe." Venezuela has launched an investigation into what unfolded, though details remain scant. If the idea of members of a remote tribe surfing the web seems incongruous, the Telegraph has a more sobering explanation of why the Yanomami needed the password. They used the internet to alert authorities when illegal gold miners showed up on their land—otherwise it could take days to get the word out. The tribe has been in deadly conflict with such miners for decades now. (Read more Indigenous peoples stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.