The former Dutch colony is a mixture of peoples. The Amerindians
are found in the interior. Africans were brought as slaves and
some escaped and founded African villages in the forest country.
As in Guyana Indians from India were brought in to work the sugar
plantations. Chinese are also found in the town.
The post independence government was overthrown by a military
coup. The civil war which has grown out of this, as opponents
of the ruling army group tried to overthrow them has led to a
collapse of the economy and much destruction, especially of the
Africans in the bush.