Jonestown Redux

Tucked into Latin America’s northeast coast between the continent’s two greatest river systems – Venezeula’s Orinoco and the Amazon in Brazil – Guyana’s Essequibo River is easily overlooked. So it’s no surprise that last August’s spill into the river of 130 million gallons of cyanide, effluent from a waste pond at a a gold mine, was back-page news in the U.S. (Even if it conjured up unpleasant memories of the Revered Jim Jones, who effected a cynanide spill of his own while in Jonestown, Guyana back in 1978.)