Marudi beating incident takes new twist, GGMC to file charges against miners – 11th Mar 2013
In another twist to the Marudi beating incident caught on camera recently, the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) is preparing to file charges against several miners who the Commission said, were conducting their illegal mining activities in the Marudi Mountain area of region 9.
This development comes one week after Police Commissioner Leroy Brummel launched an investigation into the beating of civilians by a Corporal.
According to acting Commissioner Rickford Vieira the GGMC, with support from the Guyana Police Force, continues to remove some 14 illegal dredges and other mining equipment from the area.
He said the operators of the dredges were engaged in the removal of minerals and evasion of payment of royalties and taxes on the minerals extracted.
The Commissioner added that to date, no gold has been declared by any of the operators and there are no records of production which is a breach of the Mining Regulations.
The GGMC believes that all the minerals removed were illegally sold.
Though not addressing the beating incident directly, Vieira said that last week’s exercise was the final step after several other requests for the illegal miners to voluntarily remove failed.
The incident is believed to have occurred two Saturdays ago when Police Ranks accompanied officials from (GGMC) to clear several illegal miners from the Marudi mining district.
A video published on social media revealed a Police Corporal inflicting blows on civilians who were lying on the trail to protest their removal. A woman and her sons were among those beaten.
The Commissioner explained that in December last year, it received a formal complaint from the legal license holders, Romanex Guyana, a Canadian Mining company, about excessive illegal mining operations on their land and requested the GGMC take action.
The GGMC said it responded, giving the illegal miners notices, as early as mid February and instructed them to stop their illegal operations.
Though, while not condemning the police brutality, Commissioner Vieira said the Commission will continue to fulfill its mandate ‘to fairly regulate and manage the natural resource wealth of Guyana, regardless of the personalities involved.
He explained that the Marudi incident highlights the dangers that the officers of the GGMC face in executing their duties and pleaded for greater cooperation.
Several NGOs and Human Rights organizations condemned the beating of civilians by the officer. The Amerindian People’s Association said it is appalled over the incident, while Co-President of the Guyana Human Rights Association, Mike McCormack said, the association is awaiting the findings of the Police investigation and will be monitoring the development closely.