home Suriname, about the size of the US state of
Georgia, is located in Northern South America, bordering the North
Atlantic Ocean, between French Guiana and Guyana. The capital is
Paramaribo, which contained most of the country’s residents.
(AP, 8/30/10) 100Mil BC-84Mil
BC During this period of the Cretaceous
temperatures rose to 38 degrees in the tropical waters off Suriname,
compare to 26-28 degrees in 2006.
(Econ, 2/25/06, p.82)
1667 Jul 21, The Peace of Breda
ended the Second Anglo-Dutch War and ceded Dutch New Amsterdam to
the English. The South American country of Surinam, formerly Dutch
Guiana, including the nutmeg island of Run was ceded by
England to the Dutch in exchange for New York in 1667 after the
second Anglo-Dutch War.
(WUD, 1994, p.961)(HN, 7/21/98)(HNQ,
8/21/98)(WSJ, 5/21/99, p.W7)
1705 Sibylla Merian made
drawings of the insects of Suriname.
(WSJ, 5/29/01, p.A20)
1718 Dutch planters introduced
coffee to their Suriname colony.
(ON, 10/2010, p.12)
1835 The wooden Neve Shalom
synagogue was built in Suriname.
(SSFC, 12/7/08, p.E5)
1863 Jul 1, The Dutch abolished
slavery in Suriname. The Dutch were among the last Europeans to
1873 Some 400 Hindustani
laborers arrived in Suriname. The Hindu festival, known as Diwali
(the festival of lights), later became officially observed on Nov 3.
1885 Mar 20, John Matzeliger of
Suriname patented a shoe lacing machine.
1889 Aug 24, Jan E. Matzeliger,
Suriname inventor (shoe lacing machine), died.
1908 May 9, Dirk Fock became
governor of Suriname.
1941 Nov 23, U.S. troops moved
into Dutch Guiana to guard the bauxite mines.
1942 Mar 1, Suriname camp for
NSB people opened to save Jews.
1952 May 29, A 2nd Round
Conference between Dutch Antilles and Suriname ended.
1954 Dec 15, With the
proclamation of the Charter for the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the
Netherlands Antilles attained equal status with the Netherlands
proper and Suriname in the overarching Kingdom of the Netherlands.
1975 Nov 25, Suriname gained
Independence from the Netherlands and adopted a new flag.
(SFC, 9/6/96, p.A14)(
1978 Jul 3, The Amazon Pact was
established. Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru,
Suriname, and Venezuela signed the Amazon Pact, a Brazilian
initiative designed to coordinate the joint development of the
1980 Feb 25, A military coup
took place in Suriname. Desi Bouterse seized control of Suriname
five years after the country gained independence from the
Netherlands. He stepped down in 1987 under international pressure
but briefly seized power again in 1990.
1980-1989 Bauxite prices dropped in the 1980s. For
Suriname it had provided nearly 60% of export earnings.
(WSJ, 4/15/97, p.A9)
1982 Dec 7, In Suriname 15
politicians, journalists, union leaders, lawyers and soldiers, were
rounded up and slain in a hundreds-year-old fort in Paramaribo. In
2007 Desire Bouterse, the former dictator, faced trial for the
murders. In 2008 a military tribunal in Suriname ruled that those
accused of a 1982 massacre, including the country's former dictator,
must stand trial.
(AP, 3/12/07)(WSJ, 10/8/07, p.A6)(AP, 4/5/08)
1986 Nov 29, In Suriname 39
people were massacred in the village of Moiwana by the military
dictatorship. Desi Bouterse was fighting an armed opposition force
called the Jungle Commandos. Many of the rebels were Maroons, as was
the group's leader, Ronnie Brunswijk. In 2006 the government
officially apologized and compensated relatives and victims of the
1987 In Suriname Desi Bouterse
was forced by international pressure to give up power and allow the
return of a democratically elected government.
1989 Jun 7, A Suriname Airways
airplane crashed in a tropical forest near the Paramaribo airport
killing 169 people.
1990 In Suriname Desi Bouterse
launched a second coup.
1993 Apr, Desi Bouterse quit as
head of Suriname’s armed forces.
1995 Suriname joined Caricom.
(Econ, 2/12/05, p.37)
1996 Sep 5, In Suriname Jules
Wijdenbosch, backed by former military strongman Desi Bouterse,
defeated Pres. Ronald Venetiaan in a close runoff.
(SFC, 9/6.96, p.A14)
1997 Mar 22, It was reported
that thousands of people were investing in a high-risk investment
fund paying returns of 120%. Operators Roep Ramtahalsingh and Henk
MacDonald denied that the enterprise was a pyramid scheme.
(SFC, 3/22/97, p.A11)
1998 Jun 17, Four million acres
of rain forest was dedicated as the Suriname Wilderness Nature
(SFC, 6/18/98, p.A20)
1999 Desi Bouterse, former coup
leader in Suriname, was convicted of drug trafficking in absentia in
the Netherlands. Prosecutors said he was the leader of the "Suri
Cartel," and was sentenced to 11 years in prison. He avoided that
punishment because Suriname doesn't have an extradition treaty with
its former colonial ruler.
2002 Aug, Prosecutors in
Suriname charged Dino Bouterse with stealing 50 guns from the
government intelligence service. Police at the time accused Bouterse
of fleeing to Curacao to avoid arrest, although his father said
Bouterse had traveled there for personal business. The father Desi
Bouterse, a former coup leader and convicted drug trafficker, was
elected president of Suriname in July 2010.
2002 Nov 29, A gold mining
operation owned by a Canadian company plans to begin constructing a
$97 million mine early next year on a mining concession in
2004 Sep 8, Police in Suriname
arrested six people and seized a large stash of weapons, uncovering
what they said was an arms-for-cocaine smuggling operation.
2005 May 25, In Suriname Pres.
Venetiaan faced an electoral challenge from former dictator, Desi
Bouterse, a convicted cocaine smuggler and military strongman, whose
victory would threaten millions of dollars in promised aid from the
2005 May 26, Suriname's ruling
coalition survived an election challenge from a former dictator. But
former dictator Desi Bouterse's National Democratic Party more than
doubled its seats in the National Assembly.
2005 Jul 18, Suriname's
parliament was deadlocked over choosing a new president, with no
candidate securing the two-thirds majority needed to become the
2005 Aug 3, Suriname's
president Ronald Venetiaan easily won re-election in a vote by an
assembly of regional councils, ending a heated battle that had left
the South American country's leadership in limbo for more than two
2005 Aug 11, A judge in
Suriname convicted the son of a former dictator of leading a ring
that trafficked in cocaine, illegal arms and stolen luxury cars,
sentencing him to 8 years in prison.
2005 Aug 12, Suriname's Pres.
Ronald Venetiaan (69) was inaugurated to a second term, calling for
national unity following elections that weakened his government's
hold on Parliament and swelled the ranks of a party led by a former
2005 Sep 6, Nine countries:
Antigua, Belize, Grenada, Guyana, Dominica, Suriname, St. Kitts, St.
Vincent and the Dominican Republic, signed oil deals with Venezuela
in Jamaica. Cuba and Jamaica had previously signed. Chavez urged
Caribbean governments to consider Cuba-style socialism as an
alternative to capitalism.
2005 Suriname had under 500,000
inhabitants, who shared over 15 languages.
(Econ, 2/12/05, p.37)(SSFC, 12/7/08, p.E5)
2006 Jan, Suriname’s Trade
Minister Siegfried Gilds stepped down after prosecutors named him a
suspect in a money laundering investigation. In 2007 he stood trial
on charges of money laundering and participating in a criminal
2006 May 11, Officials in
Suriname said floods caused by days of rain have killed three people
and left up to 22,000 others homeless along riverbanks of the remote
2006 Jun 20, A US Embassy
spokesman said the United States has asked Suriname to extradite a
Guyanese man wanted on drug charges in New York. Shaheed Khan was
arrested June 15 by authorities in Suriname.
2006 Oct 5, In Suriname a
homeless man was slain by an ax-wielding assailant in Paramaribo. It
was the 4th killing this year of homeless men while they slept on
the streets of Suriname's capital. Police wondered if a serial
killer is on the loose.
2006 The population of Suriname
was 439,000 people.
2006 In Suriname 5 homeless
people were slain in just nine months this year spreading alarm
across the little country.
2007 Mar 12, In Suriname Desi
Bouterse, a former military dictator, offered his first public
apology for the 1982 killings of 15 critics of his military regime,
saying he accepted political responsibility for the deaths but
2007 Mar 13, Alice Amafo,
Suriname's youngest-ever Cabinet member, resigned amid reports she
used thousands of dollars in government funds to pay for her 30th
2007 Jun 4, Scientists said a
frog with fluorescent purple markings and 12 kinds of dung beetles
were among two dozen new species discovered in the remote plateaus
of eastern Suriname.
2007 Sep 20, A UN decision
awarded Guyana, rather than Suriname, most of a disputed area of
coastal Atlantic Ocean, which may hold a large amount of
(Econ, 9/29/07, p.44)
2008 Apr 3, In Suriname a
twin-engine Antonov-AN28, operated by Surinamese carrier Blue Wing
airlines, crashed on approach to an airstrip in the Benzdorp mining
region, near the country's border with French Guiana. All 19 aboard
were killed. Blue Wing, which has operated since 2002, was barred
from landing at European airports in June 2006 after French aviation
officials found safety deficiencies during an inspection of planes.
The airline was removed from the blacklist in 2007 after a
commission said the company had resolved the issues.
2008 May 23, In Brazil 12 South
American leaders gathered in Brasilia to set up the Union of South
American Nations. UNASUR was expected to replace the South American
Community, declared in 2004, and unite the Mercosur and Andean
Community free trade areas. Members included Argentina, Bolivia,
Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname,
Uruguay and Venezuela.
2008 Jul 24, In Suriname a boy
(12) stabbed and killed a 9-year-old girl in front of her classmates
and teacher at a rural elementary school.
2008 The population of Suriname
numbered about 480,000.
(SSFC, 12/7/08, p.E5)
2009 Apr 19, The annual Goldman
Environmental Prize was awarded to 7 activists from 6 nations.
Rizwana Hasan (40) of Bangladesh was awarded for exposing
environmental damage and exploitative practices used in the
country’s ship dismantling industry; Marc Ona Essangui (45) of
Gabon, the founder of Brainforest, was awarded for exposing secret
agreements for a Chinese mine project that threatened Gabon’s rain
forests; Yuyun Ismawati of Indonesia was awarded for designing
environmentally safe waste management systems for poor Indonesia n
communities; Olga Speranskaya (46) of Eco-Accord in Russia was
awarded for her efforts to control and store chemicals in Russia and
former Soviet republics; Wanze Eduards (52) and Hugo Jabini (44) of
Suriname, leaders of the maroon community, were awarded for their
efforts that led to a landmark ruling ending tribal exploitation by
the government. Maria Gunnoe (40) of West Virginia was awarded for
her fight against the practice of removing of the tops of mountains
and filing valleys below with tailings.
(SSFC, 4/19/09, p.A18)
2009 Dec 24, In Suriname
rioting and attacks began against migrant workers leaving at least
seven foreign migrants dead, hundreds more homeless and a border
town in ashes. The riots in Albina began after a Brazilian allegedly
stabbed a local man to death and have made the area uninhabitable
for an estimated 300 people who fled.
2009 Dec 28, Police in Suriname
arrested 15 more suspects as they searched for anti-migrant rioters
accused of rape, arson and looting in an explosion of violence that
sent hundreds fleeing for their lives from a border town.
2010 May 25, Suriname held
elections. The political party of former dictator Desi Bouterse (64)
was the biggest winner, as the convicted drug trafficker mounted a
political comeback despite facing trial for the execution of 15
opponents in the 1980s. Bouterse's party captured 40 percent of the
popular vote and 23 seats in parliament with a populist campaign
that featured pledges to build more houses and increase social
(AP, 5/26/10)(AP, 8/12/10)
2010 Jun 3, Suriname's former
dictator and the man who led a rebel army against his military
regime agreed to form a coalition government, uniting two
adversaries with little in common beyond matching drug-trafficking
convictions in the Netherlands.
2010 Jul 19, In Suriname former
dictator Desi Bouterse was elected president by parliament,
following weeks of jostling by opponents who sought to stop a
convicted drug trafficker and ex-strongman accused of killing
political opponents from returning to power. The next day Bouterse
said through a spokesman that he will not interfere in his ongoing
trial for the massacre of 15 political opponents during his military
(AP, 7/19/10)(AP, 7/21/10)(Econ, 11/23/13, p.40)
2010 Aug 12, In Suriname Desi
Bouterse (64), a former coup leader, convicted drug trafficker and
accused murderer, was sworn in as president.
2010 Suriname numbered about
500,000 people. Satellite analysis of scarred earth and diverted
waterways showed that miners have deforested at least 30,000
hectares (74,000 acres) and damaged more than 2,200 km (1,370 miles)
of river over the past decade.
2011 Feb 1, Suriname’s
President Desi Bouterse expressed his country's support for
Palestinian national rights and the establishment of an independent
Palestinian state, the latest Latin American country to do so.
2012 Apr 4, Suriname granted
amnesty to President Desi Bouterse for crimes committed under his
earlier military dictatorship.
(AP, 4/5/12)(Econ, 6/9/12, p.42)
2012 Apr 5, Dutch PM Mark Rutte
denounced Suriname's decision to grant amnesty to President Desi
Bouterse for crimes committed under his earlier military
dictatorship as "totally unacceptable" and recalled the country's
ambassador from its former colony in protest.
2013 Aug 30, In Puerto Rico
Dino Bouterse, the son of the president of the South American
country of Suriname, was arrested on US drug charges.
2013 Aug 30, Paraguay was
welcomed back into a group of South American nations known as UNASUR
meeting in Suriname.
2013 Nov 8, , US prosecutors
said a son of Suriname's president invited people he thought were
from the Lebanese paramilitary group Hezbollah to set up a base in
his country to attack Americans in exchange for millions of US
2014 Nov 27, Guyana officials
said five local men were lured to neighboring Suriname with promises
of good wages, but ended up working in slave-like conditions. The
men managed to escape to Suriname's coastal capital and alerted
2015 May 25, Suriname held
general parliamentary elections. Unofficial results gave the NDP 26
seats, a small margin of the majority in the 51-seat National
Assembly. The National Democratic Party, led by president Desi
Bouterse (69), disputed results in several districts of the capital.
A recount was set for May 31.