Fears that the four escapees who fled into the East Coast backlands will morph into another Criminal Gang – like the one from Mash Day 2002 – weren’t exactly damped by the decision of the Joint Services to scour the backlands of Buxton. Buxton, of course, was the chosen redoubt of the bandits who promptly launched a “war of resistance” against the Guyanese State.
Dozens of dead Policemen later – not to mention innocent citizens mowed down like pesky weeds, businesses robbed and burnt to the ground, several mass massacres and their own cohorts dying like flies – the last of the gangs were killed in bloody shootouts with the Police. And that was less than a decade ago!!
But it wasn’t just the gratuitous violence used in the latest prison breakout – or the meticulous planning and execution of the plan – that evoked the violent déjà vu. There WERE those elements – but the clincher was the stark fact that one of the members of the last gang standing – “Fine Man” Rawlins’ – was among the four escapees who planned and staged the dramatic caper!
So the search of Buxton and its backlands isn’t just a hunch by the Police or their hasty profiling of Buxton. It’s just a matter of connecting the dots. One dot is the released taxi-driver hostage being able to make his way from Land of Caanan back to Annandale with directions from the bandits. So why couldn’t the bandits themselves do the same and get to Buxton – just one village East.
And why Buxton? That’s another dot! Ten years ago – while there might’ve been some villagers who were forced to go along with the depredations of the bandits on neighbouring communities – even more villagers worked hand in glove with the bandits. How many times didn’t they form cordons blocking the security forces in hot pursuit from entering “the Gulf” of South Buxton?
The youths – the mainstay of the bandits as lookouts and snitches – are now young men in their prime. The escaped bandits know many of them welcome the siren calls of easy money and the “glamour” of the wild side. The coke-filled and women-surfeit parties held by the bandits in the Gulf have become the stuff of legend to that demographic.
And just as the nihilism of the 2002-2008 bandits was excused by the sophistry of some “political sophisticates” in the words of Eusi Kwayana, one has already set the stage by asking “how come there’re no children of the rich and powerful scion among prisoners”!!
So that excuses the poor becoming bandits!
Even as the US State Department announced they’ll need additional data on applicants for visas –- visitors or immigrant – their local Ambassador assures there will be no change in the new “open door” policy for Guyanese. His statement that 7000 immigrant visas were issued last year isn’t surprising. The “papers” from relatives were already filed and the pull factors – if not economic at least the familial ties – are still very strong. So why not pull up stakes for “the land of the free and the home of the brave”?
But it was the next number that was more interesting – there were 72,000 visitors; visas processed and “more than half issued”. The year before, Guyanese thought the 39,000 applicants were astronomical…but this has now almost DOUBLED!! One out of every 10 Guyanese applied for a visa! And ‘more than half” again were “lucky’ – around 40,000!!
What’s going on? Last time the increase was explained as “increased prosperity”.
With our economy tanking, what’s it now?
…by prison garb?
Your Eyewitness is hip to the new sensitivity against profiling folks. Their “human rights” being sacrosanct and all that.
But surely allowing prisoners to wear civvies rather than black and white stripes is a bit much??