Guinea-Bissau President Joao Bernardo “Nino” Vieira was brutally murdered in his kitchen. No one has been arrested. And no international leaders showed up or were represented at the funeral where his daughter begged her compatriots to “stop killing ourselves.”
Just hours before the murder, a bombing attack left many rivals dead. However, the next day market stall were open and the streets were full. Amidst all of this violence and although there was mourning, there was no upheaval, and AP correspondent Todd Pitman says it’s because of how jaded the state has become as leading transit point for cocaine heading to Europe.
The U.N. estimates that cocaine transiting through Guinea Bissau is worth more than a billion dollars a year. And with the suspected arrival of Latin American Drug Traffickers, things are bound to get worse, as the world continues to turn a blind eye.
A member of the independent National Human Rights League believes Vieria was heavily involved in the drug trade. Member Luis vaz Martins, says that after departing from Venezuela one plane intended for Vieria’s associates, disappeared after being seized by military rivals.
However, there is very little to indicate the killings were drug or revenge related hits in a climate of deep ethnic tension amid a growing influx of cocaine money.
Some say, the murder was about power. That people just wanted President Vieria out of the way. Either way, the president was democratically elected.
Since indepence from Portugese rule only a little over 30 years ago, the political life of the 1.5 million people in this country has been a cyclical pattern of coup, then coup attempt, followed by war. The life expectancy for most people in the country is only 45.