Published: Thursday 15 March 2001

A Canadian mining company has been dumping cyanide, mercury and copper into Guyana's biggest river, the Essequibo, alleges the Guyana Shield Media Project (gsmp), a group that disseminates information about environmental issues. According to some media reports, people have been seen vomiting after consuming the river water. The gsmp says that officials of Cambior, the mining company, admitted that they regularly dumped these chemicals into the Essequibo, claiming that the chemicals released were in 'safe amounts'.

gsmp says that Cambior drafted its own "environmental laws" with no involvement from local people. The rules prohibit the Guyana government from taking any action against the company. "The government, which is, starving for foreign investment was forced to accept their norms," said a spokesperson for gsmp

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