An investigation of Guyana's mixed race population reveals political and cultural nuance in a country often starkly divided between Indians and Africans.
Guyana's May 2015 elections have highlighted divisions between the country's Indian, African, and mixed-race populations. Gaiutra Bahadur sees reason to hope for the future of Guyanese race relations.
Vishal Singh paces nervously around his family's stucco home in Bartica, a town in northern Guyana overlooking the Essequibo River. A few months earlier, gunmen under cover of night had ambushed the community, an outpost for gold and diamond miners operating in the country's wild interior. The bandits robbed two gold trading stations, including one run by Singh's father in their home. The family survived by escaping to a fortified hiding place. Afterwards the Singhs fled town. Only Vishal has returned.
GEORGETOWN, Guyana -- In a remote area of southern Guyana earlier this month, security forces tried to surround the country's most-wanted criminal and his gang of well-armed fugitives in their jungle hide-out. But after a fierce firefight, in which authorities say three police officers were wounded and one of the fugitives was killed, the gang escaped deeper into the bush to continue its fight another day.
I'm on my second day in Georgetown. Remarkable city; a national capital dominated by two story, peaked-roof wooden houses, many with ornate gingerbread trimming (the influence of Dutch and British colonialists), but up on stilts. Cars, trucks, scooters and the odd horse-drawn carriage clog the streets. The shops you pass range from internet cafes and cellular phone stores to stores selling mining equipment. Children play on open fields in the city center while cows and horses graze nearby. The clash of epochs here is disorienting.