Buxton has become out of control
Stabroek News
April 19, 2002

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Dear Editor,

The situation at Buxton has become out of control. Residents there routinely pelt police cars with bottles, are armed and even engage in shootouts with the police. And routinely we are told that hijackers dump their stolen cars and run into Buxton. The police recently discovered items of clothing aback Buxton that seem to suggest that criminals had made the village their safe haven and were being protected there. And only Monday an unarmed policeman on his way to work was shot in cold blood there.

Here are my questions: what is stopping the police from raiding the village and removing all the guns that seem in great supply? Is it lack of will? Is it fear? What is it? I believe that if the will were there this situation would have been brought under control long ago. It reminds of the claims made that the PNC headquarters is heavily armed and that police would not venture near it. It reminds me of the announcement made by ex police commissioner Laurie Lewis who said that criminals were being "recruited" yet nothing was done. Saying that the criminals were being recruited suggests that a) the criminals were known and b) that the recruiters were known. So my question to that is, why was nothing done?

This pattern of the apparent reluctance on the part of the security forces to bring the crime situation under control, to not pursue criminals, to veer away from places known to be heavily armed, suggests that there is more than meets the eye. The armed forces have failed. When we consider that Guyana's borders are now threatened by neighboring countries, what hope do we have of the armed forces defending our borders if they can't control rebels in a little village? Maybe the answer is that they don't want to. And that is why I call on law abiding, hardworking, innocent people to organize and demand protection. We must demand that Buxton be kept under surveillance twenty-four hours a day, that all guns be retrieved, that criminals hiding out there be arrested. These terrorists must not be allowed to take control of this country. We must demand that they be stopped now!

Yours faithfully,

Rohan Sooklall