Luncheon declines comment on WikiLeaks

Head of the Presidential Secretariat Dr. Roger Luncheon yesterday sidelined questions regarding a former US Ambassador’s statement that Guyana was becoming a narco state and that several requests were made for help in dealing with the investigation into the murder of Minister Sash Sawh.

Speaking at the weekly post-Cabinet press briefing, Dr. Luncheon said that he would hesitate to respond to media reports if they are sourced to WikiLeaks and other sources.

“To comment on what the Ambassador might have said would be highly inappropriate”, he stressed.

Then Ambassador Roland Bullen in a cable to Washington on May 4, 2006 – the second on the matter – related how at a meeting on April 24 at the Office of the President, President Bharrat Jagdeo and Luncheon were of the view that public patience had worn thin with the police and they wanted a response that “captures the public’s imagination.”

At that point a series of requests for help was made. This was never followed through with after the security situation improved, sources say.

Bullen included in his cable the letter that Luncheon had written him confirming the request for aid.

Meanwhile, Bullen according to the cable also  made a case for the establishment of a Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) office here, warning that the influence of narco-trafficking was creating conditions for the emergence of a narco-state.

He said that “the level of narco-trafficking influence on the political, judicial and economic systems in Guyana creates ripe conditions for the emergence of a narco-state,” Bullen said in a May 24, 2006 cable, titled “Request and Rationale for DEA Office in Guyana.” He also cited government’s indifferent attitude to the situation, a judgment that was later echoed by one of his successors.

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