Kathi Kitner-Salazar (KITNER@LAW.UFL.EDU)
Fri, 25 Aug 1995 09:16:24 EST

Here's something else related to what R. Johnson posted the other
day. It is forwarded from the venezuelan forum, atarraya, to which I
had posted RJ's original post.
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From: (Pedro Jugo)
Date sent: 24 Aug 1995 12:37:52 -0500
To: atarraya@MIT.EDU

Informacion sobre el derrame de cianuro en Guyana
(mas informacion en <soc.culture.caribbean>

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It seems the cyanide spill in Guyana is not being treated with the attention
that a massive spill such as this requires. According to a CBC report this
morning, the Quebec company who owns 95% of the company issued a statemenr
caliming that the spill will be cleaned up in one days time.

How the hell do you get rid of upwards of a BILLION gallons of Mercuric
Cyanide in one day? Also, Essequibo is the rice producing belt of the Guyanese
coastline: has anyone thought of the possible repercussions of the world
market when the media is finished with the issue, on Guyanese rice exports?
Four weeks ago I sent a letter from Trent University to the Omai company
requesting permission for a group to go down and model the leachate flow
of ground water from the holding ponds into the river......I recieved a
letter claiming that permission had to be granted from the Canadian
executive of the company: beaucratic bullshit.

Concentrations as large as 28 ppm (parts per million) of cyanide has been
quoted by Prime Minister HInds: > 1 billion gallons of solution of this
concentration is now in the Essequibo river: the ground water leachate
possibilities are staggering and frightening. On top of this, many of the
farmers along the Essequibo subsist their income by fishing: these people
now cannot be sure of the purity of their rice, nor can they fish. And you
know what the company is proud of? That they are distributing bottled water.
What about food for these people? What about telling them exactly what kind
of dangerous SHIT is now in THEIR river?

In the meantime, nothing has been mentioned about the mercury that must have also been spilled: as we know, Mercury when let into the environment, stays there
there is no fool proff method of removing mercury from water. It is also
interesting to note that the same company some time back had a spill of
Mercury: the statement issued said that the Mercury had been harmful to
the fish in the Omai river, but is not harmful to people!!!!!!!!!!!

This heavy metal is one of the most dangerous known!!! It was present in
concentrations enough to kill fish---what is it doing to our country people
who have to use that water? And who have to fish in the river? In fact, whose food chain is integrally part of that watershed system?

This company must be investigated: and if needs be, Gold mining must be
suspended until the findings of an independedt Environmental company is
analysed. I have written to Greenpeace and have placed calls to their
head office: Someone is supposed to get back to me in the near future.

We need international recognition of the danger of the situation: We
cannot allow this to be ignored. Please, any Guyanese and interested persons reading this: send in your comments and suggestions on how best to handle this.

Also, everyone in Ontario, Canada, who are interested, or from Guyana,
I am trying to organize a conference to discuss the repercussions of this
catastrophe, and would welcome any help I can get. Please email me at
SNARINE@TRENTU.CA or call 705-743-2885 or 705-748-1289 (Work).

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