Armed attack on a canoe between Grand-Santi and Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni

Armed attack on a canoe between Grand-Santi and Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni
Armed attack on a canoe between Grand-Santi and Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni

Around 1:00 p.m. near the Portal Islands, a canoe carrying 25 passengers between Grand-Santi and Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni was intercepted by 5 to 6 armed men. The latter fired into the air to force the passengers to hand over money and jewelry. No injuries were reported.

The incident occurred in broad daylight, when passengers traveling on the river connection between Apatou and Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni towards Portal Island. According to witnesses, the attackers, equipped with heavy weapons, appeared suddenly before firing into the air, a maneuver clearly intended to subdue and intimidate the 25 people on board without causing physical injury.

The victims, under threat, were forced to hand over everything of value they owned, including cash, jewelry and other personal property. The attack lasted a few minutes before the attackers disappeared as quickly as they appeared, leaving behind a shocked but physically unharmed group.

Local authorities were alerted and an investigation was quickly launched by the Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni gendarmerie research brigade to identify and capture those responsible for this daring robbery. This attack raises questions about the security of river connections in the region, often used for daily travel and considered vital for connecting different riverside communities.

Educational and security response

This attack affected several members of the educational community, revealed the Rector of the Guyana academy in a press release. Teachers as well as students accompanied by their families, from Grand Santi, Monfina and Apagui, were among the victims. In response to this violent act, the Rector strongly condemned the attack and announced immediate measures to strengthen security.

Faced with the urgency of the situation, all non-essential activities of educational establishments requiring travel by canoe on the Maroni, such as educational outings, are suspended until further notice. This decision remains in force pending a more complete assessment of the security risks in this area.

From the start of next week, teams from the rectorate will be deployed to Grand Santi, Monfina and Apagui. They will set up a listening cell to support teachers and students affected by the incident and discuss the next steps to guarantee their safety.

The Rector also underlined the crucial importance of security for the smooth running of education and assured that measures would be taken in close collaboration with the police to avoid any repeat offenses. He expressed his full support for the victims of this traumatic act, reaffirming the academy’s commitment to maintaining a safe environment for education.


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