Cocaine’s take-over: The Dog and Dubai

A morning with “Civil Society”

I’ll understand if some readers are saturated with this issue of Guyana’s now-entrenched narco-trans-shipment and trafficking status.  As with daily murder(s), traffic accidents and misery at schools and hospitals, there is a surfeit of incidents and reports of Cocaine Crimes here.
Still, I’ll dare to repeat just a few of my views and observations – from three perspectives.

Business fronts?

Still keeping my faith, my belief that there remains honest, legal businesses and businessmen in this country of Guyana, I cannot subscribe to the thinking that most of our (newer) “successful” big businesses and thriving enterprises are fronts for, built on, or “laundries” related to cocaine finances.
No-no.  Please don’t make me believe that. When I see (new) enterprises like mining companies, supermarkets, boutiques, gyms and medical clinics, how could I associate those establishments with the proceeds from illegal narcotics?

I did read that the American Drug Enforcement Administration/Agency (DEA) started specific investigations regarding Guyanese Drug Trafficking in 2002. The Americans are truly savvy with the diverse aspects of the local narcotics enterprise – – the country/countries of origin of the “Guyanese” drugs; the porous borders and entry points; how (poor) couriers are recruited and by whom; the profiles of our big-fish barons and the multitude of creative ways the coke is “exported”.

As recent Visa-Scandal revelations indicate, the US. Station-fellows know accurately, who would be on a local Prime Suspects List compiled by them.
Incidentally, wouldn’t successful investigations intensify if Georgetown had a permanent, visible DEA presence?

Some reader also recently suggested that our GRA Commissioner-General, Mr Sattaur, has the authority to request the owners, for example, of all massive commercial buildings now under construction, to provide him with evidence and origins of their financing. Man look, if even,  it is assumed that some rich builder must account for his/her funds, is it not obvious today, that those things” – even a (foreign) paper-trail- are considered?

Responding to a challenge from a pal the other day, I listed local Big Businesses I know to be completely clean of coke!  I told him our big beverage companies, our telephone companies, our timber and fishing companies and our commercial banks. After congratulating me, my good friend asked: “Allan, who, do you think, uses your banks, for example?”
I chased him away, not accepting that my favourite auto dealer, supermarkets and night clubs are suspect. You-all discuss…

Our vulnerable, greedy(?) youth

I cringe in despair when I see the physical results of our growing band of junkie-youths who succumbed to actually using illegal narcotic substances. Equally troubling was the trend a few years ago wherein the local barons and their intermediaries recruited young Guyanese with US visas to transport the dreaded drugs to American distributors.

As is allegedly the case in Jamaica, even Italy, the barons here attempted to engage, bright but “broke” youths, put them up in hotels, provide air-fares and needed school fees, to gradually turn them into willing adult couriers and operatives. I suspect that that particular “Youth Initiative” did not take off.
Dogs and Dubai…

Then on this Tuesday past, a newspaper reported that a Guyanese young woman was arrested in beautiful Dubai, after leaving lovely Sao Paulo, Brazil for Johannesburg, South Africa, with cocaine for trafficking.  I see those places on television only.  From Demerara to Dubai, Guyanese publicise their Drug Deeds.

Last Saturday with “Civil Society”

So how could “Civil Society” be defined, identified? For our purpose, I refer to the greater portion of the populace who appear in varied Non-Government Organisations; the masses in Churches, Trade Unions, Independent Rights-Groups, Service Organisations and Professional Bodies, etcetera.
Just after my cynicism about the Constitution’s Article 13 and “Sovereignty belonging to the People”, I was invited to a special Civil Society “Council” meeting on Saturday morning last.

This Civil Society NGO is the Guyana National Council on Public Policy (the GNCPP).  Still relatively new, it has been quietly researching the communities’ expectations – and needs – regarding their governance, their quality of life and their very “democracy”.

On Saturday, a representative gathering of both young professionals and seasoned “unattached” Civil Society types met to hear the GNCPP describe itself and make proposals for offering itself as a facilitator to organize already existing and active NGO’s here.

The GNCPP has already challenged perceived inequities and illegality by the Administration, through litigation which reached to the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ).  It is bent on educating our citizens about Constitutional rights and about why Constitutional and Electoral reforms are crucial to much better governance.  It is urging existing NGO’s to intensify their work but to consider even more empowerment available to them.

I found the exchanges stimulating even though I see how routinely the Corridors of Power ignore local Civil Society.  There were views on protesting; experiences exchanged regarding approaches to litigation including  “legal standing” and how International Donors regard Civil Society globally.

Emphasizing on Saturday, that a mobilized and organized Civil Society is expected to have its own constitution or charter, the GNCPP announced an intention to propose the establishment of a civil society council. To this end it has begun preparations for an internationally – flavoured Conference to assist in that regard.

In the room that morning, you felt the sense, even the urge, amongst (the gathering to seek some alternative to failed political governance.  But can a stressed-out, diverse, “co-opted/compromised” Guyanese Civil Society embrace effective alternatives? Stay tuned

Ponder…

*1)  The American Ambassador in Kingston reminded that the government side supported the Local Government Bills.  He is going to attract a ‘busing!
*2)  On Tuesday the Guyana Chronicle carried a photograph of Forbes Burnham!
*3)  Ramotar, Jagan, Nokta, Ramson – all academically-qualified sons of our Top Leaders, serving the nation.
‘Til next week!    (allanafenty@yahoo.com)

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