Daily Archives: May 29, 2008

Guyana Government’s Death Squads Have An Important Lesson For Barbados

Guyana Government Hired Death Squads When The Police Failed To Curb Crime

News is coming out of Guyana and New York that the Government of Guyana sponsored death squads that summarily executed over 200 persons in the last few years.

Now, doesn’t that just make you want to take a vacation in Guyana?

How did that start in Guyana?

Easy… successive governments decided that policing and the rule of law were not that important. Endemic corruption in the political and judicial systems made it impossible for honest and hard-working police officers to accomplish their mission. Low pay and little training made sure that Guyana’s police were unable to attract and retain high quality personnel.

So when it all fell apart, the government decided that death squads were the way to go. And, just like Jamaica, we now see the rise of turf areas where the police don’t go. And just like the turf areas in Jamaica, “village policing” and settling of disputes are handled by the thugs who often have far more respect from the populace than the government.

We have said time and time again at Barbados Free Press that our police are the foundation for everything we have on this island. Unless Barbados remains a relatively safe holiday destination, our foreign currency will dry up overnight. You think things are getting a little tough now? Imagine if the tourists stopped coming.

Look at it this way folks – Barbados is at the very end of the world for North American and European tourists wanting a Caribbean vacation. There are many other islands that are closer to our major markets and thus cheaper to get to. There are many other Caribbean islands that are as beautiful as Barbados – maybe even more so. (Ok… we won’t go there.)

The ONE SPECIAL THING we have that attracts the tourists and the offshore financial business is that we have always been a safe destination. Others are closer, prettier and have beautiful beaches and the same sun we all share. But on some of these other beaches, there are guards with machine-guns to keep the tourists safe.

Not here in Barbados, though.

At least – not yet.

But things are changing all over and Barbados is not exempt from those influences. We hope that the new government recognises how fragile everything is. The Royal Barbados Police Force needs a massive injection in funding – to immediately increase salaries by about 50%, and to provide training and modern equipment.

Because without an effective police force – it will all fall apart.

Thanks to Barbados Underground for discovering the Caribbean360.com article on the Guyana death squads.

Read what David has to say about the Guyana death squads at Barbados Underground: Guyana Officials Fingered in Plot To Purge Criminal

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Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism, Corruption, Crime & Law, Human Rights, Political Corruption, Politics & Corruption