Wikileaks – Confirms what most Guyanese knew, the Bharrat Jagdeo PPP/C are a cocaine friendly government
Guyana heading for narco-statehood; govt lukewarm about drug trade– Wikileaks|
Written by Demerara Waves
Saturday, 27 August 2011 13:47
The United States (US) badly wants a Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) office in Guyana because the South American country is approaching narco-statehood, already resulting in drug seeping into almost all layers of the society.
“Post requests the formal establishment of a DEA office at Embassy Georgetown. Guyana is well on its way to narco-statehood — a prospect that poses a real threat to U.S. interests,” said then American ambassador, Roland Bullen.
The cable was dispatched on May 24, 2006 to, among others, the US Secretary of State, DEA Headquarters in Washington. “The level of narco-trafficking influence on the political, judicial and economic systems in Guyana creates ripe conditions for the emergence of a narco- state,” the Grenada-born ambassador told his principals as well as counterparts in Trinidad, Suriname and Venezuela.
The American envoy believed that a DEA presence in Guyana would significantly improve the US government’s ability to fight drug trafficking in Guyana.
Bullen noted that while Guyana, with a population of 750,000 people and an official Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of less than US$1 billion does not attract much US government attention, narco-traffickers regarded Guyana where they can “operate with impunity” partly because of its geography, law enforcement corruption and a government that is less than enthusiastic about smashing the drug trade.
“They see a country with porous borders, corrupt and ineffective law enforcement, little or no control over its airspace, vast swaths of uncontrolled land, ready access to the Caribbean, North America, and Europe, and a government that has been lukewarm about clamping down on the drug trade,” Bullen said in his missive.
In an earlier cable dated January 6, 2006, Bullen noted that the two countries have been talking about setting up a DEA office here since 1999 and questioned the Guyana government’s sincerity in wanting one. “The current stumbling block is the GoG’s inability or reluctance to give approval for basic logistical details. Post’s position remains the same — the USG is ready to work with and advise the GoG as soon as the GoG is fully prepared to move forward in its fight against narco-trafficking.”
The Guyana government has, over the years, complained bitterly that countries like the US have been reluctant to provide enough funding and other rescources to combat the narco-trade. Guyana expects support through the one-year old US-Caribbean Basin Secuity Initiative (CBSI) to fight the narcotics trade and money laundering.
In the May 24, 2006 cable , the American envoy described as “an especially disturbing development” was Guyana’s involvement in “drugs for arms; financing for insurgent groups like the FARC throughout the region.
In addition, large-scale Autodefensas Unidas de Colombia (AUC) infiltration into Venezuela has led to their playing a significant role in narcotics smuggling activities on the Guyana/Venezuela border, he said.
The US embassy’ primary objective in 2008 of disrupting criminal organisations was, he said, difficult by the lack of a permanent DEA presence in Guyana. The office in Trinidad is fully pre-occupied with the counter-narcotics initiatives in their host nation.
Describing the narco-situation in Guyana as “severe”, he said the DEA could work more effectively to accomplish the critical MPP counter-narcotics objectives and provide more sustained support to local law enforcement agencies in Guyana.
The DEA was expected to establish a vetted counter-narcotics unit in Guyana but the ambassador told the Secretary of State that he was worried that it could become infected by corruption.
“An important challenge facing this unit is the pervasive corruption in the country, which has undermined previous Guyanese counter-narcotics initiatives,” he said, adding that establishing a DEA office will allow close and constant monitoring of the vetted unit to help alleviate this problem.”