In what appears to be a severe case of selective hearing, the Guyanese government has released a triumphant press statement celebrating its absence from the U.S.’s newly-updated drug watch list.
A September 24 statement from Guyana’s Ministry of Information called attention to the tiny South American country's absence from U.S. government’s recent update to the list, which names countries it deems to be major drug-producing or drug-transit zones.
“A total of 22 countries worldwide now appear on the drugs blacklist. Guyana does not appear on that list,” the press release noted proudly. The ministry added that the U.S. had deemed three countries (Bolivia, Burma, and Venezuela) to have “failed demonstrably” in cracking down on drug trafficking, again not including Guyana.
The statement claims that its absence from the list “underscores the success of Guyana’s counter-narcotics efforts.” But while the government is touting this as a victory, the fact is that the U.S. has recently issued less than flattering words for the South America country’s drug trafficking measures.
According to the U.S. State Department’s 2011 International Narcotics Report, counter-narcotics operations in Guyana are hindered by “marginal commitment and capacity at all levels of government.” The report also cites weak land and border controls as a major hindrance to effective monitoring of drug shipments, alleging that “drug traffickers are able to conduct operations without significant interference from law enforcement agencies.”