I have left French Guiana, since my partner’s job ended, but I’ll post here from time to time, when I’m especially missing passion fruit or when I hear about something important or funny.
Today it’s the something important category. Tomorrow night, 13 December 2013 at 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. (18:00h to 20:00h) at Place des Palmistes in Cayenne, there is a protest of illegal mining in French Guiana. The issue of illegal gold mining has been gaining attention lately, or at least I’m seeing more from friends’ Facebook feeds in Guyane and in metropolitan France. More information on the protest and the issue from Hurleurs de Guyane. There is also some information at the page for Kwata, the organization working to protect sea turtles on the beaches.
Here is an article from Slate.fr which goes into detail on the mining issue in French Guiana, including why mercury contamination is such a problem. Not only is mercury used in the mining process, but mercury from the naturally-high levels in the soil is released during the mining and deforestation. (If you don’t read French, here is a Google Translate version.)
Image from Hurleurs de Guyane. Source: Kwata