Isseneru Council calls for withdrawal of all mining concessions

The Isseneru Village Council is calling for a withdrawal of mining concessions that were issued over the past years within their zone, after the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights ruled that such acts were in violation of their human rights.

Toshao Dhaness Lawson (first from left) with other officials of Isseneru

Nine years after filing a petition, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) in a recent decision, recommended that Guyana implement the measures for Isseneru Village in Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni) and its members to receive full compensation for damages on the account of the violation of their human rights.
The village had submitted that the State failed to recognise and protect the human rights of its people when granting mining permits on ancestral lands. It was also contended that authorities failed to protect the community from the negative impacts of mining. In the ruling listed compensation or any approach deemed satisfactory in keeping with the Inter-American Standards.
Toshao of Isseneru Village, Dhaness Larson at a press conference on Friday welcomed the decision. Along with other village officials, the leader said this development vindicates the complaints that were made after mining activities were allowed on their ancestral and titled lands, without prior consultations.
He said even today, destruction of their lands is still continuing and called on Government to take action to address their concerns.
The Council also intends to engage the Amerindian Affairs Ministry and the National Toshaos Council in the immediate future on the ruling.
“We therefore plan to discuss further with our residents the implications of IACHR’s decision and our next steps as a community. We can provide additional information when we have completed this internal process,” Larson contended.
Meanwhile, Isseneru has also joined calls for a revision of the Amerindian Act, with emphasis that it must be treated as a priority.
Officials from the village have noted that there are several pending cases relating to mining. These age-old issues are yet to be solved. There are some 100 concessions within Isseneru. (G12)