Several parts of Guyanese society came together in a march against insecurity in Cayenne on Friday 2 September. It was about solidarity, fear and a vibrant appeal to the State to provide the necessary means to fight against attacks on property and people, a statistic in which Guyana ends up at the top of French territories every year. since at least 2016.
In stifling heat a little before 4:30 p.m., the walkers against insecurity gather each in their group all around the boulevard Mandela in Cayenne, under the aegis of the huge white column of the fire station. Trop’Violans comes first.
Yvane Goua and Olivier Goudet repeat the instructions. An order service is set up. On the other side, dressed all in black, in dignified silence, the family and friends of Dong Ping Pan take over the street. Three banners express the exasperation of this community of traders and restaurateurs:
“We will never be silent again”, “Tired of free bullets”, “Together against insecurity”.
In a third corner, citizens and onlookers are waiting for the starting signal which must lead the demonstrators to the prefecture.
The representative of the State published around 4 p.m., opportunely some will say, coincidence will say others, the newcomer of a squadron of mobile gendarmerie is a hundred people dedicated to the “street crime”, indicates Place Héder.
“We’re fed up with announcements like that, we want to know what to do. It is not a question of staff but of prioritization of missions. There, we say that they want to fight against the proliferation of firearms and they put surveillance in the main roads. Do you think that bandits are retards, idiots? And the proof, look at the number of weapons seized… A”, reacts hotly Yvane Goua who finished second in the ballot of the last legislative elections.
“It is important to have a strong and united voice in the face of state services”
Boris Chong-Sit, he too, a former legislative candidate and opposition territorial councilor, is present. “It is important to have a strong and united voice vis-à-vis State services, given our needs in terms of strengthening security resources. In itself, the reinforcement of the forces of order is good news, but it is mobile gendarmes who by definition will not provide lasting solutions against insecurity and in particular the scourge of the circulation of arms in this territory which is very similar to South American criminality and delinquency. We must make a complete diagnosis that leads to solutions that allow us to have a just normal quality of life in this French and European territory.”, analyzes the lawyer by profession.
Traders came in solidarity and to say how scared they are. This is the case of Michael Chayarepresentative of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry: “The entire Guyanese population is concerned. We are all afraid, in all our areas we have security guards who are very expensive but who reassure us because they can perhaps prevent violent crimes. The Chinese trader would not have had time to press a possible panic button but all solutions and precautions must be taken although we cannot always respond to this gratuitous and barbaric violence.”
Call for a congress of elected officials
Rodolphe Alexanderformer president of the Territorial Collectivity and leader of the opposition calls for the meeting of the congress of elected officials before the meeting of Guyanese politicians with Emmanuel Macron at the Élysée, during a dinner on Wednesday September 7.
“It alone can allow us to project ourselves towards real concerted action, in partnership and in addition to the action of the State, which we must also obtain that it finally puts the material and human resources in line with the threat to which we have to face today“, he wrote in an open letter.
“The feeling today is fear”
In the streets of Cayenne, far from the golds of the Republic, Cho Shu Ho, President of the Fa Kiao Association“The story repeats itself. All Guyanese think like me. The situation is serious. The entire Guyanese community is affected. The feeling today is fear. The robbers are getting younger and younger and panic quickly. We give as instructions to give the money from the cash register, not to shout or panic. It’s our daily life “, he assures.
Nearby, Yazid, son of the former President of the General Council, Joseph Ho-Ten-You came as a family man and a citizen. It forms a sort of relay between the Chinese community present and the other groups who have come to the parades: “We are all hand in hand. Self-service is a place of social cohesion. We meet at the Chinese. These people who earn five cents per article must stop risking their lives.”
“Laxity is responsible for all this insecurity”
During this time, the numerous investigations continue, the autopsies multiply and the families wait.
“ Laxity is responsible for all this insecurity. For mules, it’s open bar. Do you understand why the scanner only works when they want because European regulations prevent seeing inside the body? The prefect tells us that the number of police forces per inhabitant is higher in Guyana. It is hypocrisy.
There are 1380 soldiers, 750 police and 450 gendarmes. It is this last figure that interests us, in addition this statistic is reduced to the population evaluated by INSEE. An assessment that everyone knows to be wrong. We have to stop with this”, points out Yvane Goua while the procession, of several hundred people, some say 2,000, starts in an air of deja vu, for the murder of Maurice Chen-Ten-You… on July 16, 2016.