Five Guyanese fishermen have been left traumatised after being held at gunpoint by an armed quartet, who robbed the men of their cellular phones, groceries, outboard engines, clothing and a small catch of fish, onboard their fishing vessel “Shivanie” on Friday morning.The gun-toting pirates, who are believed to be Venezuelans, attacked the fishermen at about 08:40h. According to the rescued fishermen, the pirates approached them in a fibreglass boat in close proximity of the Waini Rivermouth, Region One (Barima-Waini).This newspaper was told that the pirates then brandished their weapons, demanding that the five fishermen hand over their valuables, inclusive of their clothing, before the perpetrators relieved the men of a 60-horsepower Yamaha boat engine and a 48-horsepower boat engine.The four pirates, three of whom reportedly conversed throughout the robbery in Spanish, took their loot and fled. The men managed to make it to shore and reported the matter to the police.The issue of border patrol and security measures being intensified in the areas separating Guyana from Venezuela continues to be a major one.Six weeks ago, a Venezuelan woman, who had been residing in Guyana with her boyfriend, was shot dead while he received a gunshot wound to his foot after the duo came under gunfire by five armed men at Wenamu Riverfront, Region Seven (Cuyuni-Mazaruni).Dead is 28-year-old Valentina Marelis Pacheco. Her Guyanese boyfriend was identified as 28-year-old Mark Anthony Gonsalves, a miner of Mabaruma, North West District, Region One.Reports are that on October 27, between 00:35h and 01:00, the couple was at Rock Landing, Kaikan, at the Wenamu River, at a shop near the riverfront when Gonsalves noticed a light shining from the opposite direction which is the Venezuelan side of the order.According to information, it is customary for persons from Guyana to cross the border and transport persons from Venezuela to purchase items at the shop where the couple was at the time.According to police, Gonsalves, thinking that it was passengers who needed to cross, decided to cross the border with a paddleboat to transport the persons. However, when he arrived at the other side of the border, he noticed a Venezuelan male, who told him that he wished to purchase a pack of cigarettes and alcohol.Police said that the Venezuelan man then told the Guyanese miner that he needed to “wait for about a minute” so that a few other men could arrive to “pay with the gold”.However, as Gonsalves waited, he observed five more Venezuelan men emerging from the bushes armed with high-powered rifles. Police said that the men immediately opened fire at the Guyanese man, prompting him to plunge into the water and swim to Guyana’s shores. He was shot in the process.After climbing out of the water and standing on Guyana’s side of the border, the men continued shooting in his direction from across the Venezuelan territory. Gonsalves’ girlfriend then rushed to his aid to help him get to safety but in the process, she was shot to her nasal region. The bullet exited the back of her head, killing her instantly.Earlier in October, armed men believed to have been Venezuelans also killed two brothers, Eon Mathias and his brother Rakesh.The duo had left their home on the afternoon of October 10 on their boat to fish at Father’s Beach, North West District, Region One, but was never seen alive again.Reports are that between 14:00h and 14:30h, residents near that location (including the brothers’ relatives) heard a series of gunshots being fired. The stepfather of the two men immediately ventured to the location that the brothers would have been fishing at but did not locate them.He then made a report to the police and accompanied by ranks from the Guyana Defence Force (GDF), they conducted a search in the area but their efforts were futile.Fearing the worst, the man returned to his community and notified persons that his stepsons could not be found. It was days later that persons around the area noticed two bodies on Father’s Beach.Upon closer inspection, they realised that the men were dead and immediately notified the police.The autopsy report revealed that one brother died from three gunshot wounds to his back while the other lost his life after being tortured, chopped about his body, and shot to his back twice.The bullets, believed to have come from high calibre weapons, exited the men’s bodies through the front.
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