August 28, 2016 3:37:02 am
Some Amerindian leaders in Guyana are accusing the previous government of giving them bogus land titles before last year’s national elections.
Errol Austin is a captain in an Amerindian village in western Guyana. He says land certificates given to them by ex-President Donald Ramotar’s administration haven’t been recognized by the South American nation’s mines and lands commissions.
Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman says the current administration of President David Granger is investigating claims that some indigenous communities received illegitimate titles in the lead-up to 2015 elections. It wasn’t immediately clear what percentage of the distributed certificates might be illegitimate.
Former government officials could not immediately be contacted Saturday. Guyana’s Amerindian leaders have long fought to prevent miners from exploiting lands. Indigenous tribes account for roughly 11 percent of Guyana’s population.
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