Leaked cables show gov’t unwillingness to confront drug lords -APNU

Recently leaked diplomatic cables show that the PPP/C, under the Bharrat Jagdeo administration, has “exhibited a marked unwillingness to cooperate with our friends and major donors to prevent our nation from descending into the firm grasp of the drug lords,” the opposition coalition APNU said on Thursday.

“We have recently been reading some unflattering perceptions of Guyana through information released by WikiLeaks. These releases confirm that it is no longer a matter of conjecture, that Guyana is seen by many, including countries which wish us well, as essentially a narco-state,” APNU said in a press statement issued on Thursday, in reference to diplomatic cables originating from the US Embassy. In the correspondences, US officials have questioned the government’s commitment to tackling drug trafficking.

APNU expressed condemnation of the PPP/C administration “for creating the conditions which have resulted in this legacy of shame.” According to the coalition, this view of Guyana has been reinforced by “the brutal slayings of over 200 young adult Guyanese; the extra-judicial killings by members of the Guyana Police Force; the torture of Guyanese citizens by members of the security forces; and the refusal of the PPP/C administration to conduct a proper inquiry that would get to the bottom of these crimes, as detailed in the dossier submitted by the Joint Opposition Political Parties (JOPP) to the international community.”

APNU further charged that the government has been showing a compliant nature which is “evidenced by the ongoing discovery of large quantities of cocaine in exports from Guyana to Caribbean and other countries, along with the arrests of many drug couriers from Guyana in other countries.”

It is significant, APNU added, that despite these occurrences there have been no arrests or trial of any major drug dealer in Guyana.

APNU lamented that the “label of a narco-state is not something that we sought, or wish upon our country, but sadly because of the apparent connection of senior members (of) the PPP/C administration to known drug barons and others engaged in drug and other criminal activities, coupled with their reluctance to aggressively tackle the growing menace of drug trafficking and money laundering, Guyanese now suffer the indignity of having the sordid title of narco-state applied to Guyana.”

The opposition coalition also observed that efforts are not being made to rectify the conditions which permit criminals to corrupt ordinary citizens.

“The PPP/C admitted in the 2011 Budget speech that they are aware that the per capita income of many households (about 20 percent of workers) was less than US$2 per day. We see no signs of change in the conditions which permit this dismal situation to continue to leave Guyanese at the mercy of drug lords and their PPP/C facilitators.”

Instead, according to the opposition coalition, the PPP/C is concerned about the protection of the riches acquired by its corrupt elite gang and not about the Guyanese people as a whole.”

“We continue to observe unfettered corrupt procurement practices, links to convicted drug dealers, connections to persons indicted for fraud and the continuing denial that there is the trafficking of Guyanese girls and women,” APNU said.

APNU says that the Guyana Police Force will have to be “reformed, restructured and strengthened” as part of the necessary measures to rectify conditions which now provide an enabling environment for criminals.

“Under an APNU-led administration, in a Government of National Unity, the safety and security of citizens will be a top priority. A dynamic and growing economy would be necessary to ensure the creation of good paying jobs and opportunities for self-employment,” it noted.

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