Last fall, Professor Stuart Kirsch (sociocultural anthropology) contributed an expert witness report to a request for urgent precautionary measures from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on behalf of the indigenous people living in the Barama River Carib village of Chinese Landing in Guyana. His report describes the climate of fear that exists as a result of the armed encroachment of gold miners onto village land and the accompanying  racist taunts and threats of violence directed at community members and their leaders. It also identifies the environmental problems caused by the gold mining project, which include contamination of local rivers by mercury and mine tailings, and calls for a suspension of mining activity in the area.  

A recent AP story describes the situation and was reprinted in The Washington Post.

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Associated Press: "Tiny Amerindian village in Guyana fights gold mine in key court battle over indigenous land rights," by DÁNICA COTO