Despite reaching the age of 60, Vice-President of Suriname, Guerrero Rooney Brunswick, participated on Tuesday in the Concacaf League match for North and Central American and Caribbean clubs. Rooney wore a T-shirt with the number 61 on it, in reference to the year he was born.
Ronnie, the son of a farmer, was a subsistence farmer in one of the poorest regions of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere.
He was a bodyguard to the ruler of the country. He earned the nickname Robin Hood after being convicted of robbing a bank where he distributed the money he stole to the poor. Convicted drug smuggler in two European countries. A father of at least 50 children. As of last year, he became Vice President of Suriname.
He is the owner of a football team called Inter Moingutabwe, which competes in the first division among the professional ranks in Suriname.
He played for 54 minutes as a striker alongside his son Damien, before being knocked out of the match. By participating in that match at the age of 60, Brunswick beat Japanese player Kazuyoshi Miura, who is 54 and still plays for Yokohama FC. He was born on March 3, 1961, making him six months older than the CONCACAF tournament itself.
Brunswick became a paratrooper for the Surinamese Army and was eventually assigned as a bodyguard to military dictator Desi Bouterse, who took control of the tiny South American country in 1980 after a coup against the then-incumbent government.
Ultimately, however, the two disagreed over what Brunswick said was Bouterse’s violent treatment of political opponents, and a community of descendants of slaves called the “Maroon”, to which Brunswick belonged.
He eventually led a rebel army of 1,200 soldiers in the devastating six-year civil war in Suriname, from which the country is still recovering after three decades.
He was sentenced in absentia for drug trafficking and sentenced to 8 years in prison in 1999 by the Dutch judicial authorities (the former colonial power), and was also sentenced to 10 years in prison by the French judicial authorities, without implementing these sentences because Suriname does not allow the surrender of its nationals to the authorities foreign.
He was elected MP in 2005, recently allied with the former Minister of Justice of Suriname and the head of the main political opposition Chandrika Prasad Santoki who was elected president by acclamation in July 2020 by Parliament for a five-year term, with Brunswick appointed as his deputy.
Brunsvik did not risk traveling for the return leg in Honduras due to his legal problems and fear of arrest.
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