GUYANA - Several policemen were Sunday in hot water in connection with the brutal beating of several persons including a woman and her young child on a trail to the gold bearing area of Marudi, Southern Rupununi.
At least two men and the woman and her child were taken to Aishalton Hospital for treatment, according to Vice President of the Amerindian Peoples Association (APA), Tony James.
Telephone contact with that remote interior area is virtually impossible. Demerara Waves Online News (www.demwaves.com) was told that officials were meeting with residents at Aishalton to discuss the incident.
Police Commissioner, Leroy Brummel said the Divisional Commander has been instructed to carry out a thorough probe. Policemen senior to those allegedly involved in the incident are conducting the investigation after which the policemen who were on the operation would be brought out to Georgetown and possibly placed on close arrest.
“It doesn’t look good. From what I am hearing, one of the child’s feet might have been broken,” Brummel told Demerara Waves Online News (www.demwaves.com). The video, which was apparently secretly recorded, can be seen here.
The persons, who were engaged in the physical encounter with the police, were alllegedly blocking the trail to prevent Mines Officers from the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) and police from continuing "Operation El Dorado" to rid the area of illegal miners.
The APA official explained that the area was previously assigned to Vanessa Mines and now Romanex for several decades but little or no work was being done and the concession was left virtually idle.
Eventually, according to the former Toshao, coastlanders entered the area with excavators and other types of equipment to mine for the precious yellow metal.
James said that from what he has observed the area is a free-for-all and there is no monitoring of people entering the Amerindian settlement.
Well-placed sources said President Donald Ramotar's recent visit to the area where he promised to allocate a number of the illegal miners concessions might have exacerbated the situation.
Though the sources were sympathetic with the level of brutality meted out to the the persons, the officials noted that the miners were engaged in widespread illegal activities by mining gold and smuggling it to neighbouring Brazil rather than selling it to the government and paying the required taxes.
See video at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J3qhM9vkn3M&feature=share