By Kurt Campbell
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Miners on Monday (January 6) expressed grave disgust with the general increase in criminal activities in mining communities and what President Donald Ramotar said was the migration of criminals from the coastland to the hinterland.
According to President of the Guyana Gold and Diamond Miners Association (GGDMA), Patrick Harding the increase in murders and robberies in the interior has left miners horrified.
While addressing scores of miners in the presence of President Ramotar and other senior Government Officials, the GGDMA President recounted the many miners who lost their lives during encounters with suspected criminals in 2013 and in so doing registered his sympathy. Harding said criminal activities and elements now plague the interior.
In an effort to rid mining communities of these elements, Harding is suggesting that miners meet with Police Commissioner Leroy Brumell on the issue. He reminded of previous meetings of this nature, all of which he said has solved nothing.
“So far these meetings haven’t solved the problem, the most we know is that the police come after a crime has been committed and when on patrols to their own benefit,” the GGDMA President posited.
President Donald Ramotar also said that he was worried with the increase in crime in the interior adding that he would ensure that the meeting between the miners and Brumell materializes.
He told the gathering that what is important however, is cooperation between law enforcement and miners. The Head of State said he will also speak with the Minister of Home affairs to see that ideas and suggestions by the miners are taken onboard.
Meanwhile, the GGDMA President also called on the Ministry of Home Affair to expedite of process through which foreign miners, particularly Brazilians are granted mining permits to alleviate the incidents of illegal mining. Harding said foreign miners will get their support but only if they are operating in accordance with the law.
Harding also pointed to the importance of proper infrastructure (roads and bridges) in the fight against crime.