Etienne-Yves Barrat died on May 16 at the age of 86 in Cayenne. He was the dean of lawyers in Guyana. A figure in political life in the 70s and 80s, he was general councilor in Cayenne and Matoury and 1st vice-president of the former departmental community.
Son of Doctor Roland Barrat, mayor of Cayenne from 1953 to 1965, Etienne-Yves Barrat born on February 26, 1936 in Cayenne died peacefully on May 16 surrounded by his family. He leaves a wife and 7 children.
This Guyanese politician was brought up in the family home on rue de Gaulle just opposite the courthouse (a wink of fate). After his baccalaureate he left for France. He studied law in Montpellier and obtained a degree in political science.
Intended for the senior civil service, he passed and obtained the central administration attaché competition and was appointed to the prefecture of Paris in the public procurement service.
He founded a family and married Thérèse in December 1960. But, recalls his daughter Patricia Barrat who evokes with us the career of her father, a few years later in 1966, he yielded to the call of the country and abandoned his career in the high administration which would undoubtedly have led him to be prefect. .
He returned to Guyana, registered with the bar and completed his internship at the Vignon firm. He was sworn in on April 28, 1966 and opened his practice at 37 rue Lallouette. Patricia remembers a father very busy with his public and professional life. However passionate about fishing and hunting, Etienne-Yves Barrat always found time to take his children with him to discover the joys of nature. Fine gourmet, he cooked himself the game he brought back from the forest. Traditional recipes that have since been carefully passed down to different generations.
At the Cayenne bar, Etienne-Yves Barrat was known for these pleadings: “We had the opportunity to go see him plead. He was a very great orator, he liked the effects of the sleeve, his eloquence was impressive…”
Patricia remembers a case that hit the headlines in the 90s. An imprisoned paymaster fiercely denied the murder of his wife and his father, a civil party lawyer, had finally obtained his confession in the middle of the trial. A feat of arms that she evokes with pride.
From 1993 to 1998, Etienne-Yves Barrat was director general of the services of the Chamber of Commerce under the mandate of president Jean-Pierre Prévot. He was also an economic and social adviser for 10 years and a member of the IEDOM Council.
He then resumed his activities at the Cayenne Bar, working with Maître Hélène Sirder until his retirement at over 80 years of age. “He was a file man, a shadow worker. He carried out files in Brussels… He was passionate about his job and passionate about political life…” soberly concludes his daughter Patricia.
Former senator Antoine Karam, who lived a political partnership with Etienne-Yves Barrat, describes a very affable man who had built a very fine professional career while working with his fellow citizens.
“I worked with Maître Etienne-Yves Barrat when he was 1st Vice-President of the General Council in the 1980s during the term of office of Elie Castor. He was one of those young Guyanese who returned to the country in the years 66-67 and who got involved in politics. He was elected general councilor of the western canton of Cayenne from 1970 to 1976, he had beaten the outgoing general councilor, the irremovable Paul Rullier… A surprise! He then joined the majority of the General Council chaired by Léopold Héder accompanied by young people of the time Claude Ho A Chuck, Yves Robo and Georges Giffard. »
In 1973, a split was created within this majority and Claude Ho A Chuck became its president. Etienne-Yves Barrat left this position in 1976 and returned to the canton of Matoury-Rémire-Montjoly in 1982, which he represented until 1988.
In 1985, he was elected 1st vice-president under the presidency of Elie Castor. Antoine Karam emphasizes:
“He was a very hard worker, who gave a lot of advice. He was a lawyer by profession and studied all the laws of decentralization related to the transfer of powers. But above all he was an excellent mediator. There were often conflicts and differences between the elected representatives of the majority, he intervened effectively. »
Etienne-Yves Barrat was introduced to the Guiana Socialist Party in 1982 by activist Dolore Boromé. In 1988 under the banner of PSG, he ran for deputy in the second constituency and was beaten in the second round by 264 votes by Léon Bertrand. In 1989, candidate once again for the post of general councilor on the canton of Matoury now separated from Rémire-Montjoly, he does not obtain the victory against Jean-Pierre Roumillac.
He will not return to the forefront of the political scene.
The former president of the Territorial Collectivity of Guyana, Rodolphe Alexandre saluted his memory: “… He was a man as brilliant as he was humble and reserved, whose technicality and mastery of cases was an irreplaceable asset for all those with whom he worked, and in particular for his party, PSG… Honest and rigorous lawyer , he illustrated the court with brilliant pleadings on complex cases and brought, out of humanism and loyalty to his party, gracious assistance to many of his militants demanding more fairness…”.
The funeral of Etienne-Yves Barrat will take place on May 20 at 3 p.m. at the Saint-Sauveur cathedral in Cayenne.