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Brazilian Protestors Gave Lethem Authorities and Businessmen a Rude Surprise Today

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24th of September, 2021. Region 9, Guyana, South America

Last updated: September 24, 2021 at 16:02 pm

Businessmen in Region 9, as well as the Regional authorities, were shocked to learn this morning that cargo trucks were still being blocked by protestors and that the Brazilian police did not use force to disband the protestors. A number of businessmen had instructed trucks to drive to the border in anticipation that a court order released yesterday, 23rd of September, 2021, had given the Brazilian police power to disband the protestors. Regional authorities also instructed GRA and the Covid-19 Task force to get ready to process goods at the border today, Friday, 24th of September, 2021.

The businessmen in Lethem were informed by one of their Brazilian contacts that the court order already gave the police powers to disband the protestors, but it didn’t. What the court order said is that the judges will rule at a later date after the complainants present enough evidence and the defendants were notified and given time to present a defense. A request by the businessmen to prevent the protestors from blocking the road in the interim period was rejected by the court in Boa Vista.

About ten trucks loaded with cargo headed to the border in Bonfim this morning and were surprised to find that they still couldn’t pass. The Brazilian police were called in, but it was established that the court order did not grant the police powers to disband the protestors…as yet.

Meanwhile, the situation in Region 9 is at a boiling point. Cooking gas has already run out and the cost of a tray of eggs has doubled – just to name a few. Backtrack smuggling has gone through the roof, and businessmen in Lethem have millions of dollars of goods loaded and stranded in Boa Vista – goods which run the risk of damage and incur expenses every day that they stay loaded on the trucks.

The protestors are demanding that, if merchandise are going to pass to Guyana, then the bridge must at least be open for residents in the border cities (Lethem/Bonfim) to cross the border at will. The Lethem/Bonfim region may be defined as one geographic and cultural region with people on both sides depending on each other for their livelihoods.

Some of the biggest wholesalers in Boa Vista, including Paraima Distributors, have applied to the courts to have the protestors removed. They can succeed if the protestors do not present a defense in time, or if they present a defense and loose. The protestors have the support of several established businessmen in Bonfim as well as politicians. It is not clear at this time if any of these influential figures will step up to the plate and defend the cause of the protestors in court.

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