LAW AND ORDER IN GUYANA SEEMS VERY SELECTIVE – by Francis Quamina Farrier
The Guyana Police Force and the Georgetown City Police, have increased their efforts in bringing LAW and ORDER to our dear country – but generally, only to the small man and the small woman, it seems. In this article, I am sharing with you some candid photographs of how the Law Men and Law Women are operating during this Jubilee Year, which is not totally over.
All this is happening at a time when the government has informed the Nation of the many alleged multi-million dollar crimes and corruption and the many serious alleged frauds by High Profile (former) government Operatives. These were uncovered by Forensic Audits, exposing some really important and very powerful (former) Operatives in the country, as being really Big Time Crooks.
Some of them have already skipped the country and are hiding mainly in the United States of America. My understanding is that the FBI knows where they are, and all of their movements are being monitored.
Recently, before his departure from Guyana, American Diplomat Mr Bryan Hunt, stated that there will be extraditions from the United States to Guyana. As the late Boxing Champion Mohammed Ali used to say, “You can run, but you can’t hide.” But with the ordinary Guyanese who commit minor offences, they can neither run nor hide. The Law Enforcers are there with the BIG STICK, swinging right, left and center, and with no mercy whatsoever. We have seen it so many times. Remember that merciless beating of that Amerindian mother and her little son by Police ranks at Aishalton in the deep south Rupununi a few years ago?
Now, it would be remiss of me if I fail to let you know that I have been interacting with some of our Law Enforcers quite a lot in this Jubilee time, and I have found some of them who have a real heart of gold. They regularly do their duties in a very professional way. They tell me that they are not all together in agreement with this heavy handed treatment of the little offender by the Establishment. Especially bearing in mind all those Big Time Crooks who are, so far, not been arrested, a situation which the American Diplomat, Mr Bryan Hunt, also alluded to. The average Guyanese law-abiding citizen, also has grave concerns that they are told who are alleged to have stolen the Public’s Property, but who, after a year, have not been made accountable for their alleged crimes against the Guyanese People.
There is that saying, “What is good for the goose, is good for the gander.” So, if the little offender is targeted and severely punished upon conviction, then the Big Time Crooks must also feel the heavy hand of the Sheriff’s Big Stick. That is the opinion of many Law-Abiding Guyanese. Let’s get it right. What is going on at present is like showing the trailer of an action-packed movie, and not showing the movie. As I mentioned in a previous article, a statement I over-heard while on my way to the Flag Raising Ceremony in Georgetown, on the night of May 25, 2016; “This is Jubilee, not Stupidee.” Lots of what is going on regards Law and Order in Guyana right now, is like ‘stupidee’, and very counterproductive, and the people are talking about the selective way in which Law and Order is being conducted and dispensed in Guyana at this time of our history. Many people are asking, “Where is the promised change?” Will the big crooks be allowed to get away without ever being made to be accountable for their alleged crimes? And as the American Diplomat Bryan Hunt stated, should he have done the same, what would make those who come after him not continue the tradition of corruption.
One does not have to be an FBI Agent to question one’s self about the many large buildings which are being constructed in the country, and which remain unoccupied for years and years, and to wonder what’s really going on! Under what circumstance would someone invest tens of millions of dollars to construct a four, five, six, and in some cases, a seven story structure, only to have it remain unoccupied for years and years. Many ordinary citizens are asking that question. One of those tall buildings even had a high profile official opening over a year ago. Since then nothing has happened in that building, to the best of our observations, it is there, like a giant bit of decoration in the city, and nothing commercial happening there. Many Guyanese are talking about the pressure on the small law breaker, as they see how all of the alleged Big Time Crooks, seem to be treated as Untouchables.
During a recent raid by the Georgetown City Council Police on some vendors who were selling illegally on the Water Street Pavement, comments from the irate crowd included, “Ow, man, they could chase them. They didn’t have to destroy their little goods!”. People are outraged that such harsh action is taken against the petty law breaker, when the white collar law breakers continue their multi-million dollar crimes with impunity. Many years ago, while I was conducting an interview with Police Commissioner, Laurie L. Lewis, at Police Headquarters, Eve Leary, he expressed his concern that while the little fellows were being given stiff prison sentences for being caught with a ‘joint’, the big drug lords were carrying out their ‘business’ untouched. Laurie Lewis has passed on. The PPP/C government has passed on. The years have passed on. But nothing in this aspect of the lives of decent Guyanese has really changed, so far. However, as the Guyanese statement goes, “Time Longer than twine”: HOW long?… is the real question. The other question is, How soon will LAW and ORDER go after, not only the petty crooks, but the big time crooks as well?
Members of the Georgetown City Police on the attack of Vendors on Water Street, Georgetown, June 2016.