Large protests have spread throughout French Guiana, blocking roads to neighbouring Brazil and Suriname, prompting the US government to issue a travel warning Friday for the French territory in South America.
Hundreds of people have taken part in protests over the high crime rate, cost of living and the poor quality of social services such as health care. The ‘Collective of 500 Brothers’, the group largely driving the protests, are demanding that the French government send a minister to negotiate with them, according to spokesman Ken Saint-Luce.
“We, citizens of French Guiana, are tired of living our lives like this. Life over here has become very difficult,” Saint-Luce said in an interview on Surinamese radio station Apintie. “We had been talking to the local government for weeks, but that did not lead to anything concrete.”