Sep 25, 2020 News
Patrolling ranks from the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) and the Guyana Police Force (GPF), on Wednesday came under fire in the Cuyuni River, Region Seven, reportedly by a notorious Venezuelan gang.
According to the GDF, the ranks were conducting a routine joint patrol in the Cuyuni River when shots came from the Venezuelan shore allegedly by the notorious ‘Syndicato’ gang members. The gang has been terrorizing persons on both sides of the border, including miners, demanding payments for safe passage.
However, the ranks returned fire. None of the ranks was injured in the process.
While the GDF are looking into measures for a resolution, Guyana and Venezuela are currently before the International Court of Justice (ICJ), over a large part of the Essequibo region that the neighbouring country is claiming.
Due to the increase in attacks in the Cuyuni River, allegedly by the ‘Syndicato’ gang members, there has been an increase in army and police presence.
Since Guyana’s border with Venezuela is more than 1,000 kilometers long, patrols are being conducted on a routine basis.
Kaieteur News had reported that ranks from both GDF and the GPF have increased their presence in the Cuyuni River, Region Seven, following reports of Guyanese officials coming under fire from the notorious Venezuelan ‘Syndicato’ gangs.
According to Commander of Region Seven, Dion Moore, this decision was made after employees of the Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) were shot at twice earlier this month.
The Commander said that the first shooting incident occurred on September 3, 2020, while the employees were travelling from Eteringbang to carry out their duties at various mining districts in the area.
Reports indicate that the GGMC employees had to seek cover after the gang, which was based on Venezuela’s shore, opened fire on them at a location called Baboon. The following day, as the group of GGMC workers was heading back to Eteringbang, they came under fire again.
Commander Moore said after these shootings, a decision was made to have increased patrols in specific areas and police escorts for boats carrying government workers.
However, it seems as if the ‘Syndicato’ gang members are not bothered by the officers’ presence. Moore said that on Saturday, five workers from the Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) reportedly heard gunshots in the said area while being escorted by police.
Nevertheless, the Commander said that these gangs would attack but when Guyana’s lawmen retaliate, they would go into hiding for a while and then resurface again when there is security presence in the river.
Over the last four years, there have been numerous reports in the media about the “Syndicato gang”, terrorizing and robbing Guyanese miners and businessmen in the Cuyuni area.
It was also reported of instances where these gang members, stationed at various locations along the Cuyuni River on Venezuela’s shore, would frequently shoot at Guyanese owned boats passing by.
In 2018, a police corporal was almost killed, after he was shot in a boat heading to Macapa.
Kaieteur News had reported that the officer was among several civilians travelling when the gang started shooting at them at a location called Botanamu.
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