Guyana/ Brazil sign treaties for cooperation in civil and criminal matters

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Hours after Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro arrived in Guyana on Friday, the countries signed two treaties to bolster assistance and cooperation in the areas of criminal and civil matters.

The treaties were signed at the Arthur Chung Conference Centre (ACCC) between Guyana’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Hugh Todd and Brazil’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Carlos França.

Presidents Bolsonaro and Dr. Irfaan Ali witnessed the signing and delivered brief remarks after.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro at the Office of the President (Photo: Latchman Singh/May 6, 2022)

The first treaty between Guyana and Brazil deals with mutual legal assistance in civil matters.

Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Ambassador Elizabeth Harper explained that in accordance with provisions of this treaty, the two sides agree to full legal cooperation in civil matters including corporate, labour and administrative law.

It also addresses criminal sentences which seek compensation for damages in civil courts.

The second treaty deals with mutual legal cooperation on criminal matters.

The parties will provide assistance in the investigation and prosecution of criminal offences and the confiscation, disposal, and return of assets.

The central authorities for executing the provisions of these treaties are the Attorney General Chambers and Ministry of Legal Affairs in Guyana and the Ministry of Justice and Public Security in Brazil.

The two countries also concluded negotiations to pave the way for the transfer of sentenced persons between the two states and cooperation between the Guyana Police Force and the Federal Police of Brazil.

This basically means that if a Guyanese national is sentenced in Brazil for any crime, that person can be transferred to Guyana and serve their prison sentence in a local penitentiary and vice versa.

They also concluded discussions to allow for collaboration between the Guyana Defence Force and the Federal Highway Police for the exchange of information on public security, prevention and the fight against organised crime.

The News Room understands these other three agreements are expected to be signed in the near future.

L-R: Vice President Dr Bharrat Jagdeo; President Dr Irfaan Ali; Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro and Prime Minister of Guyana, Brigadier (ret’d) Mark Phillips (Photo: Latchman Singh/May 6, 2022)

The two sides also advanced cooperation discussions in several areas including food and energy security, integration of infrastructure, national security and defence and trade arrangements.

These involve moves to collaborate on a deep-water harbour, a road-rail link, laying of fibre optic cables, development of an energy corridor and the linkage of natural resources development between the two states.

Guyana’s Foreign Minister is expected to release more details on these treaties and cooperation agreements subsequently.

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