Some 700 people, elected officials and traders in the lead, demonstrated Friday in the streets of Cayenne to denounce the rise in crime in Guyana, after a series of murders that occurred in a few days.
The procession was led by the relatives of a merchant from the city’s Chinese community who died last Monday of shots fired by individuals who entered his store, before fleeing. Several elected officials, including the president of the territorial community Gabriel Serville, the deputy Davy Rimane and mayors, took part in the march, organized by the Trop Violans collective.
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“The rise of delinquency must be taken care of by the State, it is a sovereign competence“, estimated Sophie Charles, the mayor of Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni, located opposite Surinam. To cries of “security” and “justice“, the demonstrators crossed the avenue Charles de Gaulle, the main artery of the center of Cayenne, where the majority of the businesses had lowered the curtain in sign of solidarity. On Wednesday, two other people were killed in two districts of Cayenne, bringing to 30 the number of homicides committed in Guyana since the beginning of the year, according to figures provided by the prefecture.
Dealing with crime day and night
A few hours after the death of the trader on Monday, the prefect Thierry Queffelec announced the deployment of a half-squadron of gendarmes, that is to say about forty men, hitherto assigned to the fight against illegal gold panning. Friday, he indicated the arrival in Guyana, from the beginning of next week, of an entire additional squadron of mobile gendarmes for, he underlined, “deal night and day with local delinquency on the public highway“.
The State representative received a delegation of demonstrators, who asked him to reinforce “the fight against squats, drug trafficking and gatherings of delinquents“, create “a real policy to fight against the trafficking of firearms, drugs, illegal fishing, illegal gold panning and the development of gangs“. The president of the Territorial Collectivity of Guyana, Gabriel Serville, promised a security meeting at the end of September.
“The judicial chain works well“, for his part tempered with AFP the prosecutor Yves Le Clair. Despite the large number of attacks, 54.6% of them are clarified, assures the prefecture.
According to an analysis by the Ministerial Statistical Service for Internal Security (SSMSI), the homicide rate in Guyana stood at 11.2 per 100,000 inhabitants between 2016 and 2021, compared to 1.2 on the national average. In 2021, 31 murders were recorded in Guyana, 42 were in 2020. Of the 30 homicides already recorded in 2022, 40% took place in the family circle, an increase on previous years.