Suriname. On August 30, the same day President Desi Bouterse hosted a South American summit in Paramaribo, his son Dino was questioned by New York City police officers on drug and weapons smuggling after being extradited from Panama. Both charges can lead to life imprisonment. Dino Bouterse has previously been imprisoned in Suriname for smuggling.
According to Countryaah, President Bouterse himself has been convicted in his absence by a Dutch court for cocaine smuggling and is also accused of serious human rights violations during his time as a powerholder in the 1980s. Later, Dutch media reported that US authorities have evidence of a link between President Bouterse and neighboring country Guyana’s drug king Roger Khan.
Economically, Suriname was one of the strongest growing countries in the region during the year, with up to 5% growth, mainly based on favorable commodity prices as Suriname’s most important export commodity gold. International credit rating agencies projected an equally high growth rate over the next three years. In April, an investment agreement was signed with the Malaysian oil company Petronas worth $ 25 million.
HUMAN AND ECONOMIC GEOGRAPHY
South American state. The population (487,024 residents at the 2004 census) is growing at a much lower rate than that of most South American countries, due to strong emigration, often clandestine, whose rate (-8.8 ‰ in 2006) contrasts the albeit high birth rate (18 ‰). The ethnic composition is quite heterogeneous and Indians, descendants of immigrants from northern India, represent 37 % of the total, followed by Creoles (31 %), Indonesians (15 %), blacks (10 %), Amerindians (2.5 %), Chinese (2%), Europeans and others; consequently numerous religious confessions are practiced (Hindus 27.4 %, Catholics 21.1 %, Muslims 19.7 %, Protestants 16.5 %, others 15.3 %).
The economy is based on exporting products of the soil (especially bauxite, gold and oil) and, after a period of moderate growth (2, 8 % annually in the decade from 1995 to 2004), recorded a substantial increase of 4, 6 % thanks to the rise in mineral prices on international markets and to new investments. Despite a production increase of 2, 5 % per annum in the first five years of the 21 ° sec., The primary sector remains weak and rice, the main culture, continues to have a low production yield. About 80% of the land area is covered by woods and forests and there are many precious essences, but there is a lack of adequate investments that allow even controlled exploitation. Crustacean fishing, which is exported to the United States, is of growing importance. Finally, aid from the Netherlands and remittances from emigrants play a fundamental role in the economy of the South, which is estimated to reach approximately 100 million dollars a year. Outside the so-called legal economy, there are a number of illicit activities, such as large drug trafficking (in 2004 only 5 % of the several tons of cocaine was intercepted) and weapons, as well as money laundering., which are estimated to represent well 50 % of GDP.