PARAMARIBO – The police removed illegal gold miners from the Matapi area in the Kabalebo resort during the weekend. These people have since the beginning of this year the intention to do gold mining, but the village administrations of Apoera, Section and Washabo are absolutely against these plans. No meetings may be held that deal with gold mining.
“They are disobedient and have been looking for gold, so we have sent the police to them, we do not want our area to be destroyed,” says Carlo Lewis, Captain of Apoera, against the True Time . The prospectors asked the village head for an account on Monday. “They demand that we give permission for their activities, but that is a weighty decision, and I can not take it alone, because I know that many residents are against gold activities,” says Lewis.
Despite the ban on meetings about gold mining, gold miners have organized a meeting Friday, culminating in a speech by Thomas Sabajo, leader of the former guerrilla group Tucajana Amazones, who is also in the gold sector. He urged the people to look for gold. They went to work the next day, after which they were evicted by the police.
Marciano Jong, one of the group’s leaders, says they were only in the area to investigate whether gold is actually found. He admits that they are working illegally, but according to him this is due to the lax attitude of the village authorities. “We have been asking for a meeting for months, during which the residents of the villages have to indicate whether they are against or for gold mining, and if they do not want to, we will abide by that decision”, says Jong. He would therefore like to see district commissioner Theresia Cirino of Kabalebo organizing the meeting.