POPULATION:
152,654

LITERACY RATE:
30%
SELF DEFENSE FORCES:
Suriname Police
LANGUAGES:
 Dutch (official), English (widely spoken), Sranang Tongo (Surinamese, sometimes called Taki-Taki, is native language of Creoles and much of the younger population and is lingua franca among others), Caribbean Hindustani (a dialect of Hindi), Javanese
ETHNIC GROUPS:
  Hindustani 37%, Creole 31%, Javanese 15%, "Maroons"10%, Amerindian 2%, Chinese 2%, white 1%, other 2%
BORDERING COUNTRIES:
Brazil, French Guiana, Guyana,
SURINAME - The smallest country in South America, Suriname is a graveyard.  Once a dutch colony, it one of the last places on earth to abolish institutionalized slavery, it was also one of the last countries in South America to gain independence, finalized in 1973, with the Netherlands still providing aid to the fledgling government.  What followed was a period of misfortune and turmoil in the small country, including government sanctioned murder, military coups, and political corruption.  This further strained the Dutch-Surname relationship to the point that in the early 80's, the Netherlands stopped all funding to the country.  When Democracy finally arose in the early 90's, the Netherlands once again resumed aid, but the damage had been done, and it was like putting a band-aid on a heart attack.

Faced with rising sea levels at home, the Dutch aid trickled down to droplets, then dried up completely.  Suriname, faced with ever increasing unrest and a flood of refugees fleeing the First Central American Conflict desperately petitioned the newly formed EEC for aid.  A situation the Europeans were only too eager to take advantage of.  Money and troops began pouring into Surname, so too did the Eurobacked corporations.  While initially the situation was seen as a godsend, the bigger picture quickly became apparent.  The EDF blocked the Surinamese borders, and began ejecting the refugees.  Stories still persists that the refugees who resisted or tried to escape were led away by EDF Death Squads, never to be seen again.  The European corporations themselves moved in en masse, setting up mining, logging, and agricultural compounds across the country, stripping Suriname for all it could, and paying little heed to conservation.  It was relatively easy for them to get away with this, since the vast majority of the country lived in the northern lowlands and coastal cities.  The rest of the country was left pretty much unused by the Surinamese people, and there were still areas that had rarely, if ever, been touched by civilization.  This allowed the corporations to operate in a state of almost total autonomy, as they raped the land for all it was worth.  The amount of species driven to extinction in the region is impossible to know, but it had to be staggering.  The EEC didn't care, it was dealing with a drought and a worldwide economic crash, and no one else was willing to li
sten to Surname's cries of protest, they were all to busy trying to save themselves.

This practice continued up through the beginning of the Second South American War, with the EDF fiercely defending Surname's borders from refugees while stripping Suriname of easily acessible Bauxite, its main export, and depleting its oil and gold reserves.  Still even while their land was being raped for its resources, the average Suriname citizen was pretty content, the standard of living was high, their were jobs working for the Eurocorps for everyone, and the country was experiencing a period of unheard of political and economic stability.

Then, in 2001, the plague hit...

You don't see much in the history books about the Wasting Plague effects on the third world, in Suriname, it effectively killed the entire country.  Over two thirds of the population died from the disease.  Widely thought to have been brought in by infected European contractors, the disease spread through the local population like wildfire.  The Europeans in the country were hard hit as well, and supplies of the cure were limited.  When the Europeans had treated themselves, first the EDF then the corporates and their european employees and families, they fled the country, which had already been stripped nearly bare of anything of value.  The remainder of the cure they turned over to local high ranking government officials, but there was no where near enoguh to go around.  The death toll increased, as the officials horded the cure for themselves and those with enough money or influence, while the common population was left on its own.  People fled the cities in droves, hoping to escape the disease in the rural areas. 

By the time the Second South American War ended, over 200,000 had died in Suriname, without a single shot being fired.  In fact, every country surrounding Suriname closed its borders, for 5 years, no one went in, no one came out.  No aid came, the EEC disavowed any involvement, and for all intents and purposes, Suriname was written off as a graveyard.

There were survivors, many of them driven mad by the horrors they witnessed, many more simply broken.  Suriname reverted to a fuedal society, as survivors banded together, hoarding what they could hold on to, fighting for what they wanted.  After a few years, they began picking themselves up, rebuilding.  Along the coastal town and cities to the north, it went a little faster, still neighbors and foreign aid were slow to come, with the Russians offering aid first.  Surname's neighbors however, were much more leery, fearing another outbreak they continued their dismissal of Suriname, a condition which exists to this day.

Today Suriname is still broken.  Few go there, few leave.  It is one of the few places in the world where the Wasting Plague still exists, albeit in isolated pockets in the interior.  Life along the northern coast has returned to a semblance of normalcy, and trade has once again commenced.  Modern Suriname is almost totally dependent on foreign imports for survival.  What remains of the government in Suriname boasts a largely corrupt, and almost entirely volunteer police force, mostly tasked with merely keeping the peace.  There is no military any longer, and no budget for one.  But since no one wants to cross the border into Suriname anyway, and there is plenty of room for the few survivors, its a moot point.  Further south, many of the people are still reduced to savagery, along the borders attempted raids are common and reports of cannibalism are not uncommon.

This situation is on a razors edge, as once again the threat of War in South America looms on the horizon.  Not that Suriname has to worry about invasion, it no longer has anything anyone wants.  But as military expenditures increase, the budget for the financial aid the country relies on can only decrease.

If you are desperate, the price of land in Suriname is cheaper than anywhere else in the world, save perhaps for the middle east.

(Written by Deric "D" Bernier.)