The GGDMA has done nothing to help

first_imgDear Editor, The gold mining industry has been the subject of many articles recently. I have been paying keen attention to the call of GGDMA to small miners to protest against the new tax measures imposed by the Government.It is so funny to me that GGDMA will call on the miners that they have never supported. It is a known fact that the members of GGDMA are the “Big Boys” in mining and are all guilty of criminal acts towards small miners, known contributors of their lands. The trend is that these claim holders would give you oral permission to work a land, most small miners accept that because of desperation, with promise of permission to operate. As soon as a significant gold is discovered they will remove you with brute force and ignorance.Over the past two years I have heard countless stories of this happening. Our dredge was shot up with 36 gunshots and caught on camera by the claim holder as we had an injunction from the high court giving us permission to work. The gunmen who were security personnel attached to the claim holders mining firm came with their uniform and was heard saying on camera that they don’t care about paperwork they get orders from the said claim holder to shoot up.These men were basically treated like celebrities by the now retired commander of F Division. Who told us the men would turn themselves in because they cannot leave their work ground. These men are free as birds today. Instead of the DPP laying attempted murder charges because my husband was seen on camera jumping in front of a shotgun to save his workers, they were slapped with malicious damage to property. The excavator operator who was shot in his head has since appeared in court and withdrew the charges . We have since found out that he is now employed with the said claim holder. Again we see the claim holders influence all around. Until now nothing has come out of this and we are forced to fight in the courts for damages. We now have to find a way to recoup our losses and start over. We then started hearing all these horror stories coming out of the same area committed by the same said claim holder. Further, we hear stories of this happening to small miners working on lands belonging to current executive members of the GGDMA.The GGDMA has done nothing over the past two years to help us. As members we approached them first after the shooting to help us and offer support, we were told abruptly by the founder that he cannot get involved. He then referred us to someone Mr. Woolford who advised that I had a strong case but never offered any further help. We quickly realized that the said claim holder had a lot of friends in that association and it was a lost cause.There are so many families that are in ruins right now contemplating their next move , some trying to find the will to live after losing it all. Some still have debts to repay which in turn have them fearful for their lives.We would like to thank Minister Trotman, Minister Broomes and the newly appointed closed area committee for hearing our cries and doing their best to help us small miners. We have since been able to secure our own gold bearing land of which we are still awaiting paperwork. This gives us hope that we are not at the mercy of claim holders.The call by GGDMA for small miners to join in solidarity with them to protest is totally insane. This confirms to me that the GGDMA is in their “own world” and really out of touch with the reality of the small miner. I would like the GGDMA to state one instance recently where they assisted a small miner. They even insulted the newly started Konawaruk small miners association who attended a meeting with them and the government recently. Why does GGDMA think they are the only ones with rights to represent miners, who gives them the right to insult and demean this group of hard working miners.Has the GGDMA ever given back to the communities have they done any outreach programmes. Have they ever represented a miner that was not a ” OLD BOY ” in mining. We all know who these ” Big Dogs” in mining are and we are watching them closely. It is a fact they have so much money combined it’s hard for us to even fathom and pointless to fight. So small miners feel it’s either put up or shut up.However, we have new representation now in the form of the Ministry of Natural Resources and we will not be treated like second class citizens.I say the time has come for small miners to rise up. They cannot call themselves the representative of the entire mining body in Guyana when their interest is only for a few. Small miners please do not play into the political ploy of the GGDMA, they do not represent the real gold miners. Visit our Facebook page Justice for Figaro Mining and let us know if you need help.Sincerely ,Alisha FigueiraFigaro Mininglast_img read more