I write on behalf of the Caribbean Network of Fisherfolk Organisation, the Guyana National Fisherfolk Organisation and the Suriname Fisherfolk Organisation ‒ Visserscollectief.
We the fishers from Guyana and Suriname have been the ones most affected by pirate attacks. Two months ago four fishermen from the Upper Corentyne Fishermen’s Co-op in Berbice were attacked by pirates from the same Berbice area. One body was found and he was given a decent funeral; the other three fishermen’s bodies were not found. The loved ones and relatives of these could not even give them a proper funeral. When the relatives of one of the men were asked if they had received any assistance from the NIS to which he had been making contributions, they said NIS required a death certificate. His body was not found so there is no death certificate.
Editor, we the fishers from Guyana and Suriname are the only ones who are robbed, beaten and killed by pirates; it does not happen in other Caricom countries. We do not know what to do or whom to ask for help. Many promises are made but nothing much is done. On Monday 18th July, a fisherman in Suriname was tied to a car battery and thrown overboard by pirates. When will this madness and cruelty stop?
Guyana National Fisherfolk Organisation
With respect to the matter of NIS entitlements in the absence of a death certificate, we are sending a copy of this letter to Ms Dianne Lewis-Baxter, the PRO of NIS, for any comment she might wish to make.