Protesters at French Guiana require employment and investment

France proposed a $ 1 billion financing to be delivered over ten years. | Photo: Liberation

Protests in French Guiana, initiated two weeks ago, are demanding socio-economic changes such as the introduction of a programme of investment, the improvement of the health system, education and social protection. 
This week, however, the inhabitants of this French Department, located between Brazil and the Atlantic Ocean in South America, demanded a political claim. 
The collective “500 brothers against crime” demands greater action against crime and unemployment and more than 37 trade unions support the general strike in demand of a new investment plan of 2,500 million euros (2,667 dollars). 

Protesters occupy the space centre of Kourou in French Guiana #AFP – Agence France-Presse (@AFPespanol) 4 April 2017 “we demand the President and the Government start negotiations with Guyana society to initiate an open and transparent debate in order to provide a status special to Guiana French, located too far from the centres of decision-making of the metropolitan France” said one of the leaders of the protesters, Davy Rimane. 
The offer of the 1,060 million dollars (1,000 million euros) to the economy of French Guiana, to be delivered over ten years, made by France’s Interior Minister, Matthias Fekl, and the Minister for overseas territories, Ericka Bareigts, was considered unsatisfactory by the protesters.
France Guyane portal reported on the start of negotiations between the groups of protesters and representatives of the French Government and they have planned to write a common agreement which must be approved by the local population. 
What is behind the protests in French Guiana?
French Guiana was used once as a penal colony and is the only land border between Latin America and the European Union (EU). In addition, it is the seat of a space center and one of the main gates of entry to France and the EU from South America. 
However, this small French Department has the highest murder rate of all French overseas territories and its inhabitants ensure that their lives are increasingly difficult. Most of the 250,000 inhabitants have no drinking water or electricity, and their average income is $15,000 per year, less than half of the rest of France. 
> French Prime Minister assesses crisis in French Guiana “France ignores Guiana”, said the exportero of Paris Saint – Germain and the French national team, Bernard Lama, and added: “satellites are launched from the Kourou Space Centre but we are the last in having access to the Internet”. 
28 March was the largest mobilization in the French territory where about 10,000 people filled the streets of the capital.