GUYANA: GuySuCo floods Success lands to ‘flush-out’ squatters

Sections of the flooded Success lands. (Photo Credit: R. D. Productions)

Kaieteur News – Lands occupied by squatters at Success, East Coast of Demerara (ECD) are now heavily flooded following a decision earlier this week by the Guyana Sugar Corporation Incorporated (GuySuCo) to do so.

In light of the flooding, several squatters have vacated the lands, claiming that it was a move by GuySuCo to get rid of them. However, a significant number of them have decided to stay put, insisting that the water will not hamper their existence.           

When contacted yesterday, a GuySuCo official, who was in charge of releasing the water, said that the lands are being prepared for the planting of sugar cane.
The official explained that the objective was never to remove the squatters and, as far as he knows, it was just to prepare the lands for use. The official said he was only fulfilling what was required of him.

It was reported that a number of squatters sought to attack those who were apart of the flooding exercise but ranks of the police force quickly intervened.
Also speaking on the matter was acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Sasenarine Singh, who told the Department of Public Information (DPI) yesterday that GuySuCo is mandated by the government to prepare the lands for cultivation. It was stated that the government hopes to restart operations at the Enmore Sugar Factory as early as 2022 and assiduous moves are being made to meet that deadline.

“GuySuCo is not a housing agency. We are an agricultural agency and our exclusive business is in the cultivation and production of sugar and value-added sugar related products, and that is all we are trying to do in a legal and a legitimate way,” the CEO told DPI.

Singh nevertheless empathized with the squatters who have been affected, adding that steps were taken by the Housing Ministry to assist them in legally obtaining lands. He, moreover, urged them to relocate.

The corporation had issued a notice to squatters occupying the East Coast lands which included Success, Vryheid’s Lust and Chateau Margot, warning them that the lands were a part of GuySuCo’s Cane Breeding and Research Station at the Enmore/La Bonne Intention Estate. GuySuCo also stated that the lands are being used to cultivate new cane varieties for the industry.

They claimed that over 17 years of priceless research work worth over $2 billion were destroyed by the illegal occupants, as many of them burned lands to clear it and construct their homes.

GuySuCo has been trying to get the squatters out of the area since September of this year. The first instance was during a visit to the Success area by GuySuCo and the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL) officials. This resulted in a stand-off between the officials and the squatters that required police intervention then too. Following that protest action, several others erupted over the following weeks as squatters maintained that unless they were given lands, they were not moving.

A housing drive was held by the Housing Ministry subsequently to enable the squatters to legally obtain their own lands, but many of them contended that even though it was a good initiative, they would not be receiving these lands urgently and would still be without a place to live if they moved.

“WE SHALL NOT BE MOVED “ says SUCCESS squatters as they are flooded out by GuySuCo

” We shall not be moved ” is the unyielding position of the Success East Coast Demerara squatters as waters continue to inundate their homes. They are adamant that it will take a lot more than flooding them out to dislodge them. Here are the details from Timeka Rodney.

HGPTV (Channel16 Cable67)

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  • guyaneseonline  On 10/16/2020 at 3:04 pm

    VIDEO: “WE SHALL NOT BE MOVED “ says SUCCESS squatters as they are flooded out by GuySuCo

    ” We shall not be moved ” is the unyielding position of the Success East Coast Demerara squatters as waters continue to inundate their homes. They are adamant that it will take a lot more than flooding them out to dislodge them. Here are the details from Timeka Rodney.

  • Dennis Albert  On 10/16/2020 at 4:06 pm

    “Flush out squatters” is highly offensive given the demographic make up of the squatters. The PPP is also working against the founding ideas like Marxism. The PPP is working for Pompeo, which is racist-capitalism. Racism is part of capitalism.

  • Aggi  On 10/16/2020 at 11:42 pm

    How heartless is this. First to shoot pellets into these homeless people, then to flood them out, if anyone dies, that will be murder. There are children in this group. Instead of helping them find homes, this is what you are doing to them. Do these people believe in retribution? Shame.

  • guyaneseonline  On 10/17/2020 at 4:34 am

    Two in custody for robbing and disarming GuySuCo security guard

    – police shoot innocent squatters while leading search party

    Oct 17, 2020 – Kaieteur News – Two persons are now in police custody for allegedly robbing and disarming a security officer of the Guyana Sugar Corporation Incorporated (GuySuCo) who was placed in charge of an irrigation pump currently being used to disperse water to flood the Success squatting area on the East Coast of Demerara (ECD).
    Police sources told Kaieteur News that around 15:30hrs on Thursday afternoon, while guarding the pump located in the Success backdam, the two suspects allegedly attacked the GuySuCo guard with a cutlass, relieving him of his cell phone, all of his money and the shotgun he was armed with.
    Police reports state that the guard said the men hurled him to the ground and placed the cutlass to his neck while threatening him. Upon taking the gun, they also took the extra ammunition, which he was carrying in his pockets. Following the attack, the suspects then took the gun and discharged rounds at the drainage pump, leaving it with severe damage. They then made their escape on a motorcycle.
    The police were immediately contacted and soon flocked the scene, which led to a search party being carried out to find the suspects. It was stated that after a long sweep of the area, the two men were caught and detained by police late Thursday night. According to the police, the two suspects were found to be residents within the Success squatter settlement currently being flooded.
    Additionally, other reports surfaced stating that police ranks while on their search for the suspects shot a number of squatters in the area with rubber pellets. A live footage video on social media shows a few residents showing their injuries.
    In the footage, one of the residents claimed that there was no need for anyone to be shot because there was no disruption of peace. A 15-year-old boy said that he and others were standing nearby and the police ranks fired rubber pellets at them then started chasing behind another group of persons, firing at them too. The teen could be seen showing a bruise on his back.
    Another woman shared that she received lacerations to her hands and leg, and claimed that an elderly woman who she knew was rushed to the hospital after being shot multiple times. Other residents stated that they had to run to secure themselves and their children, describing the action as inhumane.
    The authorities, for several weeks, have been trying to get all of the squatters to vacate the lands, since they belong to GuySuCo and the National Industrial and Commercial Investments Limited (NICIL). GuySuCo also maintained that the lands are being used to plant new cane species in light of plans to reopen the Enmore and La Bonne Intention estates.
    Claims are being made that the robbery and destruction of the irrigation pump were to halt the flooding of the settlements; many squatters have insisted that they will not be moving under any circumstances except if relocation is being offered by the government.

    • Dennis Albert  On 10/17/2020 at 1:32 pm

      Who isn’t to guess that the police are shooting at these squatters illegally, so that Jagdeo, Singhs and the Beharrys don’t build more 10 storey building on the land? The PPP sure learned a lot from Pompeo and Trump when it comes to colonialists and Native Indians.

  • Gloria  On 10/17/2020 at 12:21 pm

    I say to the squatters “STAND YOUR GROUND” There’s no reason why the government cannot find land to house these displaced persons. They seem to have no problem handing out land when it comes to housing their East Indian counterparts. Their actions are deliberate and vindictive and also racist. The entire Guyanese people need to protest these actions by the government. Power in numbers. One hand can’t clap.

    • Dennis Albert  On 10/17/2020 at 1:30 pm

      Democracy, according to the PPP.
      Is this how human beings are treated in an oil rich country that Sarah Ann Lynch and the Americans promote as the future bright like the Dubai of the Caribbean?
      Wait a minute—Arabs are racist and prejudicial against anyone who isn’t Arab.

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