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Guyana: Whether Indo-Guyanese are targeted by various sectors of society such as the police, criminal gangs and political groups by reason of their ethnicity (July 2003 - October 2004)

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada
Publication Date 15 October 2004
Citation / Document Symbol GUY42906.E
Reference 2
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Guyana: Whether Indo-Guyanese are targeted by various sectors of society such as the police, criminal gangs and political groups by reason of their ethnicity (July 2003 - October 2004), 15 October 2004, GUY42906.E, available at: [accessed 9 October 2015]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Information about whether Indo-Guyanese are targeted by reason of their ethnicity further to that found in the Research Directorate's July 2003 Issue Paper Guyana: Criminal Violence and Police Response, and GUY42583.E of 20 April 2004 about the ethnic composition of a police special forces unit and whether this unit targets particular ethnic groups could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate. Nevertheless, the following information from August and September 2004 provides information about ethnicity-related issues in Guyana.

Based on an August 2004 visit to Guyana, former United States president Jimmy Carter of the Carter Center noted that representatives of ethnic and cultural groups, including Indo-Guyanese and Afro-Guyanese, expressed distress, frustration, and in some cases fear with regard to their living conditions (19 Aug. 2004). Carter further stated that the government-established Ethnic Relations Commission (ERC) lacked experience (Carter Center 19 Aug. 2004). Carter's concluding comments noted that the polarization characterized by the ongoing political situation continues to affect "many aspects of the nation's life" (ibid.). In addition, according to Freedom House's Freedom in the World 2004 country report on Guyana published in August 2004, hostility between Afro- and Indo-Guyanese citizens continued to persist and remained an issue of "deep concern" (23 Aug. 2004).

In September 2004, Georgtown-based Stabroek News reported that People's National Congress/Reform (PNC/R) party leader Robert Corbin had made two ethnicity-related comments (FBIS Report 1 Sept. 2004; ibid. 3 Sept. 2004). In the first article, Stabroek News noted that PNC/R leader Robert Corbin had delivered a conciliatory speech at the party's congress in August 2004 that "included a call to end the violence against Indo-Guyanese" (ibid.). In the second Stabroek News article of 1 September 2004, Corbin reportedly stated that the crime surge in the East Coast Demerara was "attacking all ethnicities" and that the PNC/R leader had emphasized his willingness to discuss this issue with the President in the hope of finding a suitable outcome (FBIS Report 1 Sept. 2004).

For background information about the ERC please consult GUY42611.E of 6 May 2004. In addition, please see the January 2004 report by UN Special Rapporteur Doudou Diene for information about contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance in Guyana at the following Website: .

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


Carter Center. 19 August 2004. Jimmy Carter. "President Carter Visits Guyana, Aug. 11-13, 2004." [Accessed 12 Oct. 2004]

FBIS Report. 3 September 2004. Stabroek News, Georgetown. "Leaders Say Corbin's Speech Positive." (FBIS-LAT-2004-0907 9 Sept. 2004/Dialog)
_____. 1 September 2004. Stabroek News, Georgetown. "Corbin Announces Readiness To Discuss Crime With Jagdeo." (FBIS-LAT-2004-0901 2 Sept. 2004/Dialog)

Freedom House. 23 August 2004. Freedom in the World 2004. "Guyana." [Accessed 8 Oct. 2004]

Additional Sources Consulted

Internet: Amnesty International, Country Reports 2003, Guyana Chronicle [Georgetown], Human Rights Watch, Overseas Advisory Security Council (OSAC), Resource Center of the Americas.

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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