As protestors in Bomfim, Brazil hold their ground for three consecutive days, shortage of food and household products loom over Region 9, Guyana, South America. The protestors have blocked trucks and other vehicles carrying merchandise from Brazil to Guyana and have said that they will not relent until a proper agreement is reached for the reopening of the Guyana/Brazil border at Lethem.
Protestors say they will not move until the Guyana/Brazil is reopened.
At present, the border is closed, but allows for merchandise to pass into Guyana from Brazil every Thursday. Nothing has been catered for Brazilians who want to do business in Lethem. For example, Brazilians customarily frequent the Chinese stores in Lethem, and this also helps bring revenue to Region 9. The residents of Bonfim are decrying the one-sided arrangement that allows goods to enter Lethem while no concession is made for Brazilians to transact business in Guyana.
Below is a copy from a circular shared by Bonfim Residents earlier this week.
Only we residents know the difficulties faced with the border closure, many lost jobs, Uber without the means to sustain their families, individual sellers without merchandise. To change the situation, we have to react! This Tuesday, 14th of September, 2021, a meeting will address the future of our border. Powers from Guyana and Brazil will meet to try to find a solution. We’re counting on the support of population in front of the municipal building from 7:00 am to show that it is important for us. Attend, because change only happens if we fight.end quote
A meeting between authorities of Guyana and Brazil earlier this week bore no positive result as the authorities in Guyana are adamant that a reopening of the border for Brazilian travels would endanger the lives of Guyanese citizens by means of the Covid-19 virus and its variants. A new meeting is expected to be held soon to try to break the current stalemate and provide an amicable resolution to the evolving crisis.
Presently, Region 9 depends greatly on merchandise coming from Brazil for food and household products as Georgetown is too far away and the cost is higher. However, adjustments can be made with the help of the government to make supplies coming from Georgetown feasible.
Although residents of Region 9 are no strangers to jungle survival, and most can survive comfortably without Brazilian imports, they have been so conditioned to these conveniences of modern day life for so many years that they prefer to simply not live without it.