Europe

Strikes to hit French Guiana as tensions paralyze territory

  • Masked members of the collective "500 Brothers" are pictured at a roadblock outside the French Guiana capital, Cayenne, Monday, March 27, 2017. The Collective of 500 Brothers, the group largely behind the protests who have demanded that the French government send a minister to negotiate with them. French Guiana faced a nationwide strike Monday over crime and economic difficulties, amid protests that have paralyzed the French territory in South America, halted flights and a rocket launch and prompted a U.S. travel warning. (Deborah Neusy/France Guyane via AP)

    Masked members of the collective "500 Brothers" are pictured at a roadblock outside the French Guiana capital, Cayenne, Monday, March 27, 2017. The Collective of 500 Brothers, the group largely behind the protests who have demanded that the French government send a minister to negotiate with them. French Guiana faced a nationwide strike Monday over crime and economic difficulties, amid protests that have paralyzed the French territory in South America, halted flights and a rocket launch and prompted a U.S. travel warning. (Deborah Neusy/France Guyane via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • General view of a roadblock set up in Remire-Montjoly near the French Guiana capital, Cayenne, Monday, March 27, 2017. French Guiana faced a nationwide strike Monday over crime and economic difficulties, amid protests that have paralyzed the French territory in South America, halted flights and a rocket launch and prompted a U.S. travel warning. (Deborah Neusy/France Guyane via AP)

    General view of a roadblock set up in Remire-Montjoly near the French Guiana capital, Cayenne, Monday, March 27, 2017. French Guiana faced a nationwide strike Monday over crime and economic difficulties, amid protests that have paralyzed the French territory in South America, halted flights and a rocket launch and prompted a U.S. travel warning. (Deborah Neusy/France Guyane via AP)  (The Associated Press)

French Guiana is facing a nationwide strike amid mounting protests over crime and economic difficulty that have paralyzed the French territory in South America, halted flights and a rocket launch and prompted a U.S. travel warning.

The French government sent an emergency mission to try to quell tensions before Monday's general strike, expected to hit public services across Guiana.

Protesters are angry over high crime, the cost of living and the quality of health care and other social services. Their protests have already blocked roads to neighboring Brazil and Suriname, and shuttered many businesses and schools.

The unrest prompted candidates for the French April-May presidential election to urge aid or intervention, as France's far-flung overseas holdings suddenly entered the spotlight in the race after having been largely ignored.