Guyana To Amend Laws To Facilitate Easy Extradition To US

  • Attorney General Anil Nandlall told the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) that Guyana would amend its extradition laws to allow for “easy” extradition of persons to and from the US.
  • To bolster international cooperation in legal matters, Guyana is poised to enact comprehensive amendments to its extradition laws, making extradition easier to and from the country, particularly with the United States, Nandlall expressed at the CFATF 58th Plenary and Working Group Meetings in Trinidad on June 4, 2024.
  • In Guyana, economic hardship for segments of the population, institutional weaknesses, criminal justice inefficiencies, as well as racial fractures in society provide fertile grounds for corruption. Furthermore, the scale of the informal and illegal economy is particularly notable, as it breeds criminal activities such as drug and human trafficking or illegal logging that are strongly associated with corruption and coercion.
  • The amendments, particularly clause two of the Bill, aim to expand the admissibility of evidence in extradition cases. This includes documents, statements, or other evidence that identify and locate the person sought, a statement of facts of the case, and the legal provisions related to the offence and its punishment.
  • In recent years, the US has commended Guyana for facilitating the capture and extradition of a number of persons from Guyana to the US. At least one person had been extradited from the US to face a murder charge in Guyana, but the charge was eventually dismissed.
  • The amendments to the current extradition laws create a model for future bilateral cooperation that should reduce Guyana’s attractiveness as a haven for criminals in the sovereign. That said, the sovereign still has a long way to go to counter international crime with the need to strengthen the integrity and capacity of Guyana’s criminal justice system.
  • Guyana ranks 87 of 180 countries on Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index for 2023. Its score improved marginally from 39 in 2021 to 40 in 2022 and 2023. That said, at a rank of 87, Guyana has moderately higher levels of perceived corruption when compared to peers like Trinidad (76), Jamaica (69), and Barbados (24) but fairs better than the Dominican Republic (123) and Mexico (126).

(Sources: Guyana Chronicle & NCBCM Research)