Protesters call for full reopening  of Guyana/Brazil border 

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…mayor, regional officials to deliberate following meeting  

Protest action , primarily  Brazilians  at  BonFim has led to calls for the reopening of border trade as many believe those in authority and bigger businesses at the town of Lethem are the only ones benefitting from the current one-day per week opening.

In recent days, business owners have gathered in Bon Fim at the main entrance which leads to the Takutu Bridge , as they call for the reopening of the border which has been closed temporarily  since the COVID-19 pandemic took tool in the area. The crossing is usually open to trade on Thursdays but many have claimed that the bigger businesses are the only ones which have benefitted from that arrangement.

This led to protests primarily on the BonFim side of the border in recent days by traders and reports in the Brazilian media are that officials of the two towns met on Tuesday in Brazil. Mayor of Lethem , John Macedo travelled to speak t the protesters several days ago.

Region Nine Chairman Brian Allicock , left and Mayor of Bonfim Joner Chagas at a meeting in Brazil on Tuesday.

Later, he met with Bonfim mayor Joner Chagas, Region Nine Chairman,  Brian Allicock and BonFim  councilors Domingos Costa, Gil Veras, Italo Bezerra, Muriel Evangelista and Nelyerton Andrade, the former mayor of Bonfim Romer Lima and residents of the two towns to discuss the issue.

Allicock submitted a proposal to reopen the border two days per  week . Mayor Joner Chagas  proposed that the border be opened three days a week, the report noted and he noted that every thirty days , the reopening would be increased by an additional day, until the end of the year. After that,  the link between the two countries is completely free for passage.

According to the report, Mayor  Chagas noted  that the economic issue is a serious problem affecting the two border cities in this pandemic, and a safe and intelligent reopening plan is needed. The deliberations of the meeting are expected to be evaluated and another meeting is planned before reopening.

The border was closed last March after the number of COVID-19 cases on both sides skyrocketed. Persons found their way across the border by illegal crossings; some have been caught and charged with smuggling.

Reports from Lethem are that the economy in the town has been at a standstill ever since and many believe only the bigger businesses are able to benefit from the one-day per week arrangement which is currently in place.

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