At least 20 people, mostly girls, have died in the overnight fire that broke out in the dormitory of a secondary school located in Mahdia, 200 kilometers from Georgetown, the capital of Guyana. "We have lost many beautiful souls in this tragedy," the Georgetown government lamented in a statement, adding another twenty injured during the incident, which broke out after midnight and trapped the minors in their rooms.
"It is a great, horrible, painful disaster," confirmed the President of Guyana, Irfaan Ali, who announced that the two large hospitals in the capital are ready to receive the victims. The opposition has demanded a thorough investigation.
Mahdia is a small mining city that is part of the Essequibo, a disputed territory between Venezuela and neighboring Guyana, in charge of administering its more than 150,000 square kilometers, which represents 70% of its territory. It borders Brazil and overlooks the Atlantic Ocean.
The differences between the neighbors have worsened in recent weeks after the decision of the judges of the International Court of Justice (14 in favor, one against) against the historical claim of Venezuela. The gigantic oil deposits found by the US multinational Exxon Mobil on the high seas have had such an impact on Guyana, one of the poorest countries in the region with only 700,000 inhabitants, that its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 62% in 2022 and it is expected that until the end of the decade it will maintain an increase of 25% each year. In 2027 it will reach one million barrels per day, when Venezuela currently moves with difficulty around 700,000.
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