Illegal Brazil miners on the run after killing French Guiana policemen
(de Ware Tijd) PARAMARIBO - In order to prevent a gang of killers and robbers from fleeing from French Guiana to Suriname, authorities have sent police and military reinforcements to the Eastern border.
The gang consisting of illegal Brazilian gold miners or garimpeiros ambushed and killed two gendarmes in Dorlin on Wednesday. The gendarmes were conducting an operation against illegal gold mining in the area, and when they flew low over an illegal mining camp in a helicopter, the aircraft came under fire. The same gang is also suspected of shooting three other garimpeiros a few days ago. Two other military were wounded as well and one of the helicopter’s motors was hit during the ambush, but the pilot managed to land safely in Maripasula.
Police spokesman inspector Humphrey Naarden tells de Ware Tijd that the police command has sent reinforcements to the area, and the National Army has done the same, “to prevent the suspects from fleeing to Suriname.” He adds that should the suspects manage to reach Suriname, authorities will make every effort to apprehend them. Further investigation will determine if they will be extradited.
Meanwhile, the French have dispatched some twelve paratroopers and eighteen jungle fighters to catch the gang. Colonel Didier Laumont, commander of the local gendarmerie, says the two wounded men are not in danger. French President François Hollande has sent his condolences to the victims’ families and has pledged that all resources available will be used to catch the killers. Home Affairs Minister Manuel Valls has also indicated that the operations against illegal gold mining in French Guiana will continue.