…no report filed – Commander
Residents from various communities in Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni) are claiming that women from their villages are being sexually assaulted by ranks of the Joint Services stationed there.
According to a recently launched report on the land tenure situation of Indigenous peoples in that region, residents from the Kaikan Village, Region Seven, have complained about females in their community being sexually molested and harassed by ranks of the Guyana Police Force (GPF) and the Guyana Defence Force (GDF), in addition to them stealing from the community.
“Police officers and army soldiers have entered the village supposedly to do patrols and provide security for the airstrip. However, villagers report that these Police and army soldiers have assaulted women and stolen from the village…the village has complained over the years that women in the community have been sexually assaulted and that army soldiers have had relationships with married women, causing strife,” the document which was released on Thursday night stated.
It was further stated that residents also reported being threatened and intimidated by soldiers when they try to protect their daughters from the military men who “come uninvited” to their homes.
Villagers in Kaikan also alleged that both Police and military ranks are also taking advantage of Venezuelan nationals who reside in that area.
“…recently, army and police officers have also been taking advantage of Venezuelan prostitutes…taking away their identity cards and forcing the women to have sex with them in order to have their documents returned.”
Additionally, according to the land tenure report, villagers from the Kambaru/Omanaik area have reported rapes of community members.
The report also states that third parties occupying Indigenous customary lands have been reported to be threatening and assaulting village residents.
“There have been numerous reports of deliberate rights violations by miners, Guyana Geology and Mines Commission (GGMC) officers, the police and soldiers, who are occupying Indigenous customary, including titled lands. There are complaints of miners bulldozing residents’ farms and destroying villages’ traditional trail lines. There are also reports of miners threatening village residents,” the report stated.
However, Commander of F Division (Interior locations), Kevin Adonis, when contacted about the allegations made against ranks of the Joint Services, stated that to date, no one has come forward to lodge a complaint or make an official report.
“The villagers have never reported these things to us. They have not. I have not, we have never gotten a report from them or anyone about such allegations,” the Police Commander stated.