DEA is not a miracle worker— Granger
Opposition Leader, David Granger, has said that his party, A Partnership for National Unity (APNU), is alarmed at the rising rate of
serious crimes, especially murders and armed robberies. He noted that there have been more than 2,050 murders in Guyana from January 2000 to May 2014.
He said that President Donald Ramotar warned the Guyana Police Force, about a possible “avalanche of crimes.” The United States Department of State Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) report on Guyana stated: “Serious crime, including murder and armed robbery, are common, especially in the suburban areas and the interior regions.”
The most recent information from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, lists Guyana’s 2010 homicide rate as 18.4 per 100,000 people – the fourth highest murder rate in South America behind Venezuela, Colombia and Brazil. Guyana’s murder rate is three times higher than that of the United States.
He said that blame for Guyana’s high murder rate lies squarely with the nearly 22-year long People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Administration which has failed consistently to implement a comprehensive counter-crime strategy.
Granger added, “That the 12-year Bharrat Jagdeo presidency, most particularly, will be remembered in this country’s history for the extraordinary number of murders which occurred. The trend has continued to rise in the Ramotar presidency”
The political leader said that it is the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) Administration’s responsibility to protect the population from violent crime. The Minister of Home Affairs, however, seems unruffled by these statistics. He has not seen it necessary either to curb the soaring rate of murder and criminal violence or to explain to the nation why, after eight years in office, serious crime continue to increase at such a phenomenal rate.
Former Commissioner of Police, Winston Felix said that Guyana needs a Minister of Home Affairs who cares for the people, is willing to take a bad situation and turn it around.
He said, however, that Minister Clement Rohee “only cares about the meals going on his table.” Felix told the media that overseas-based Guyanese are afraid to return to Guyana because of crime. He said that the setting up of a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) office in Guyana is long overdue. He said that maybe, Guyana would have been in a better state as it relates to nacro-trafficing if the office was allowed to come on board before.
He said that in 1992, Guyana was known to be a little transshipment point for small quantities of marijuana. “Now we are noted for cocaine leaving in every possible form of concealment…The issue is that the DEA attempted in 2005/2006 to set up an office and for some reason, those who were in power at the time put so many blocks that it was impossible to set up office of their standards.”
The former Top Cop said, “It’s a really good thing that the office will be set up here but I bemoan the fact that it wasn’t set up much earlier.”
Granger said that drug trafficking is the single most serious cause of crime in Guyana. He said that while Guyana was “diddle dawdling,” Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago took the opportunity to have the DEA office a long time ago.
The Member of Parliament said that Guyana has not demonstrated political will to provide Customs Anti- Narcotic Unit (CANU) and the Police Anti Narcotics Unit (PANU) with assets to interdict crime. He said that the two agencies are only equipped with resources to deal with minor cases.
“Because of their incapability, you would see them catching a girl with two grams in her girdle or pink suitcase, but not those shipping by the tonnes.”
He said that the presence of the DEA is not going to suddenly put an end to all narco trafficking. “Yes, it will cooperate with the government of Guyana but the onus or responsibility to eradicating the drug trade is on the government.”
According to Granger, the DEA at its best can only collaborate; it is not a miracle worker but it is a step in the right direction.”
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