Co-President, Guyana Human Rights Association
Focus: Accountable Policing
Topics: Recruitment, Non-state security actors, Training
Keywords: ethnic representation, extra-judicial killings, gangs, local police training, recruitment, rural policing, training curriculum, non-state security actors
Interviewer(s): Daniel Scher
Country of Reform: Guyana
Location: Guyana Human Rights Association headquarters, Georgetown, Guyana
Date: Fri May 8 2009
Mike McCormack, co-president of the Guyana Human Rights Association at the time of this interview, discusses many challenges to protecting human rights in Guyana. With more than 30 years' experience working on human rights issues in the country, he is able to chart progress and setbacks with a deep knowledge base. McCormack reflects on the extra-judicial killings of the past and present, the drug-related incidents that have become more common, and tensions between the human rights community and the police. McCormack also touches upon the ethnic representation of the police and perceptions among the Afro-Guyanese and Indo-Guyanese communities as well as the disparities between the rural and urban police units. He draws a distinct line between the prison system and the police as an organization.
Full InterviewDownload MP3 (91.4MB)
Mike McCormack- Full Interview
At the time of this interview, Mike McCormack was the co-president of the Guyana Human Rights Association. Born in the U.K., he lived and worked in the Caribbean, Central America and South America since the late 1960s, serving as Oxfam's Andean regional director and working on human rights issues in Chile and Argentina. He returned to Guyana and was involved with the GHRA since its founding in 1979. Through the GHRA, he championed political, economic and social rights.