Sep 17, 2021 News
– Uproar is leading to shortage of supplies in Lethem
Kaieteur News – Residents of Bonfim – a small town located in Brazil just opposite the Takatu River from Lethem, Guyana – have been protesting over the last two days against what they are calling an unfair practice by the Guyanese authorities at the Lethem/Brazil border crossing.
They have blocked the main highway leading to the Takatu Bridge, preventing the trucks laden with basic supplies from entering Lethem.
According to the President of the Rupununi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI), Daniel Gajie, their action is leading to the shortage of essential goods in the Region Nine Town.
His exact words in a Facebook Post he made yesterday were, “Shortage of essential goods looms in the Rupununi, as protestors block the main highway leading to the Takatu Bridge.” Residents and businesses in Lethem depend on goods from neighbouring Brazil because it is much cheaper to transport from there than Georgetown.
In light of the ongoing protest, Gajie noted that Lethem could suffer shortages of basic items, such as cooking gas, chicken, beef, fruits, vegetables and household groceries. He added that there could also be shortages of cement, stone, and other construction materials.
Kaieteur News was told that, the protestors began the protest on Wednesday and continued all day yesterday with their roadblock. As a result, some trucks, loaded with supplies destined for Lethem, have returned to Boa Vista, while others have remained.
Gajie explained to Kaieteur News that the drivers of the trucks that remained decided to “stick around” in the hope that protestors would desist from their actions and they will be able to pass. However, based on other information reaching this media house, the protestors might remain there indefinitely until their demands are met.
The Brazilians are demanding that they be allowed entry to Lethem, just like how Guyanese are being allowed to enter into their country to conduct business.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Guyanese and Brazilian Governments had both agreed to close the Lethem/Brazil Border Crossing. That agreement was made since last year.
Nevertheless, noting that Lethem is heavily dependent on Brazil for supplies, a decision was made for the crossing to be opened at least one day per week to allow the entry of trucks with supplies.
The Brazilians are alleging that they have noted that the authorities at the crossing are allowing Guyanese businessmen and other residents of Lethem to cross over into their country to purchase goods from Boa Vista, or conduct other business.
Yet, when they attempt to do the same by entering Lethem to conduct their business in Guyana, Guyanese authorities would deny them entry and tell them that the border is closed.
The Brazilians further alleged that if they continue to insist on crossing over into Lethem, then the police ranks stationed at the crossing would ask them to pay a bribe.
As a result, the residents of Bonfim decided to protest what they have labelled, as an unfair treatment by Guyanese authorities.
The Brazilians had initially begun protesting on Thursday September 9, but had stopped after the Lethem Mayor, John Macedo, had called a meeting with the Bonfim Municipality seeking a resolution. That meeting was reportedly held on Tuesday. In attendance from the Lethem Municipality were the Mayor, the RCCI President, Gajie and the Regional Democratic Chairman (RDC), Bryan Allicock.
Gajie recalled that the Bonfim Municipality requested that the crossing be opened three days per week, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and that its citizens be allowed entry into Lethem to transact their business.
The Lethem Mayor had reportedly related to his Brazilian counterpart that, that such a decision is not within his powers, and that he would have to consult with the National COVID-19 Task Force (NCTF) of Guyana before giving them an answer.
An agreement was made for them to meet again on Wednesday with Lethem’s response. Meanwhile, the protestors had threatened that should their demands not be met, then they will again block the highway leading to Lethem.
Kaieteur News learnt that the NCTF had rejected the request made by the Brazilian side, and that this was relayed to the Bonfim authorities during Wednesday’s meeting.
Disappointed that their demands were not met, the protestors followed up on their threat and blocked the road immediately.
Oct 26, 2021Kaieteur News – The stakes were high on Saturday afternoon last at the Lusignan Golf Club as golfers came out in droves for the final tune up tournament sponsored by C&V Shipping, prior the...
Oct 26, 2021
Oct 26, 2021
Oct 26, 2021
Oct 25, 2021
Oct 25, 2021
Kaieteur News – The answer to the question above is that they met in a confluence last Saturday morning in my head.... more
By Sir Ronald Sanders Kaieteur News – It is nothing short of shocking to learn that, despite the fact that the world... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]