In response to Resolution 41/2023 issued by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), the government is set to dispatch a diverse team to investigate disturbing allegations of environmental degradation and human rights violations perpetrated against Amerindians residing at Chinese Landing in Region One. Vice President, Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo, confirmed this momentous step, signaling a resolute commitment to safeguarding the Indigenous Carib Community and holding wrongdoers accountable.

The IACHR resolution urgently called upon Guyanese authorities to implement a series of measures aimed at protecting the vulnerable Carib community, consisting of approximately 210 individuals. The commission expressed grave concern over the community’s plight, warning of potential irreparable harm inflicted by both miners and even certain members of the police force.

This outcry for justice stems from a comprehensive petition filed by the village council of the indigenous Carib community of Chinese Landing, the Amerindian Peoples Association of Guyana, and the Forest Peoples Programme. The petition highlighted the root cause of the harassment and discrimination endured by the indigenous residents for years—a mining permit granted to Mr. W.V in 1995 without the community’s consent. Although the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) had issued a cease work order in 2010, the miner managed to overturn it through a judgment from the Caribbean Court of Justice.

Undeterred, the Amerindian beneficiaries persisted in seeking justice, presenting their case to the judiciary in March 2021. They contended that the mining activity directly contradicted the protective provisions of the Amerindian Act concerning titled land. However, while their case remains before the court, mining activities in the region have escalated, exacerbating environmental and human rights abuses, prompting the urgent call for intervention by the IACHR.

Vice President Jagdeo unequivocally affirmed the government’s commitment to respect and adhere to the IACHR’s resolution, which calls for a thorough investigation and a comprehensive report on the team’s findings and proposed solutions. He emphasized that the government had previously taken a stand in support of Chinese Landing’s people by issuing a cease work order through the GGMC.

Acknowledging the challenges faced during previous efforts to combat illegal mining, the Vice President recounted conversations with the Toshao of Chinese Landing, revealing numerous instances of thwarted raids due to advance warnings given to the miners, allowing them to conceal their equipment effectively.

In light of the gravity of the situation and with the welfare of the community as the utmost priority, the government said it will unwaveringly comply with the IACHR’s ruling and deploy a multifaceted team to Chinese Landing. The subsequent report to the IACHR is expected to be a testament to the government’s firm stance against social, environmental, and mining transgressions, advocating for robust penalties to ensure justice prevails.


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