Monday, November 5, 2012

Canadian shot in the butt, dies 11 days later in Guyana - Crime a growing factor in Caribbean

Sometimes it takes an incident that hits a bit closer to home, in order to draw attention to the everyday iniquities and injustice that go unnoticed in many countries around the world.

For example, a person identified in the Guyanese press as a Canadian, Jean Le Blanc, died in hospital just over a week ago, after being shot in the buttocks almost two weeks earlier.

The man was shot in a bar during the assassination of an alleged gangland figure. According to some reports, Le Blanc claimed he was "in the wrong place at the wrong time", although some of the speculation is that he may also have been targeted.

After several days in the hospital, Le Blanc was said to be recovering well and was scheduled to leave the country, but he died quite suddenly on Oct. 26 (2012).

Since then, an autopsy has been delayed, purportedly because "financial arrangements" for storage of the body post mortem were being made, in connection with the Canadian Embassy.

No mention of this situation has appeared in Canadian media that I have been able to find. One Guyanese report mentioned that Le Blanc was a Montreal resident.

There is a photo of a person identified as Le Blanc in the hospital in Georgetown on a few Guyanese websites.

Meanwhile, a UN report recently released has revealed that crime rates in the Caribbean have been rising dramatically, even while they've been dropping in most other parts of the world.

A quick scan of the news items for the past few days in the Guyanese press is enough to informally confirm this, as you get the impression that there are more violent crimes in this small country of only 750,000 people, than there are in most of our big cities in Canada. Crime is bad enough when it occurs in developed countries. In less developed countries, it can destabilize the delicate balance of economic viability and social development. 

As the The Caribbean Human Development Report 2012, prepared by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) says, the increasing crime rate is threatening economies and livelihoods in Caribbean countries.

“Violence limits people’s choices, threatens their physical integrity, and disrupts their daily lives,” said UNDP Administrator Helen Clark at the report’s launch.

Anyone think that more free trade deals and sweetheart corporate tax giveaways will improve this situation? 


The Mound of Sound said...

The answer to your question is "No." But, as several Latin American leaders have pointed out, decriminalizing, taxing and regulating drugs across Central and North America would be a huge step forward.

It seems we're determined to stick with our tried and disproven ways.

Offroad Artist said...

Decriminalization would be a positive step. Could be perhaps one or more states going down that road tomorrow, at least as far as weed is concerned. I hope it passes, if only to provide experience to work with in the future.

Decriminalize other drugs? I don't know if it could possibly happen.

Economic opportunity is needed to reduce crime.