Guyana. According to
Countryaah reports, a dark shadow fell over the celebration of G's
38th Independence Day on February 23 through two brutal
massacres of armed gangs. Eleven people, including five
children, were murdered on January 26 in the city of Lusignan and on February 17, 12 people were murdered in the
gold digger town of Bartica on the Essequibo River.
Obviously without direct motives, the death seemed to
intimidate both the civilian population and the police into
passivity. The events were just the most spectacular in a
long line of violent acts in G., which have extremely high
levels of crime. The People's Progressive Party Civic (PPP/
C) government called for a political rally against the
crime, but the main opposition party People's National
Congress Reform (PNCR) chose to make policy of the events
and accuse the government not only of failed law enforcement
but also to curb racial tensions. PNCR is the Black Guyanans
party while PPP/C is dominated by Indian origin Guyanans.
Among other things, PNCR leader Robert Corbin accused the
government of having the police action against the black
population dominated but also the crime-prone town of Buxton
in the aftermath of the Lusignan massacre had racist signs.
Government officials, in turn, accused Corbin of trying to
justify the massacre.
In mid-October, the Surinamese military seized a Guyanese
boat loaded with sugar on the Courantyne border, which led
to new tensions between the two countries, which have not
yet agreed on where the border between them should go beyond
the estuary. G President Bharrat Jagdeo explained that G has
so far chosen to try to follow a diplomatic path in the
border dispute but suggested that other means could also be