President of the Brazilian Mining and General Association Antonio Szala has called for better measures to be put in place for Brazilians to be issued with Guyanese work permits.
“We don’t know why things are being so frustrated. Some getting through while others aren’t and a large number of these people are being affected because they can’t go to the interior and work because they are getting put out by the GGDMA,” Szala told this newspaper.
According to Szala, Brazilians who want to work in Guyana have to get “a sponsor and these persons are milking them. The Association is asking for the work permits to be given to the government, not a private person.”
He added that the Guyana Geology & Mines Commission (GGMC) would usually process the work permit within a week after the application had been checked and verified. The application would then be sent to the Ministry of Home Affairs for the final authorization procedures, and this is where the delay was normally reported.Szala charged that the organization was the only one working to help Brazilians in Guyana and everything they tried to do for the Brazilians was being shot down. “We are a legally registered organization in Guyana, and we are no way politically motivated. We want to be a legal body for Brazilians working in Guyana.”
“Right now we are looking to have a discussion with the Ministry of Home Affairs so that we can have proper discussions on several issues affecting the Brazilians,” Szala said.
In an invited comment, Ministry of Natural Resources Robert Persaud said that the ministry only recognizes the Brazilian Development Institute and that was the body they were working with. “We have been working with the Brazilian Embassy and we consider that group the legitimate body.”
Szala also pointed to the growing number of unsolved murders of Brazilian miners. “They the police don’t do anything, they don’t follow up or nothing on these murders,” he said. “The Brazilians are not taking the gold from Guyana. It is more threatening for a Brazilian to take our gold to Brazil. If they get caught in Roraima with the gold then that gold will be seized,” he said.