It was once the inspiration for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s ‘The Lost World’, an otherworldly region of grassy plains and table-topped mountains known as tepuis, or ‘Houses of the Gods’.
A remote area deep in the Venezuelan south close to the border with Brazil, the Gran Sabana was home only to the indigenous Pemon tribe and a handful of adventurous travellers. And, crucially, vast seams of one of the world’s biggest reserves of gold.
Now, those underground riches are fuelling a deadly conflict that could determine the course of the country’s crisis. Simmering for years, it erupted into the international consciousness when, the day before the attempted entry of humanitarian aid from Colombia and…
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