From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Convicts in 1885 in Saint-Jean-de-Maroni
Convicts in 1885 in Saint-Jean-de-Maroni
Saint-Jean-du-Maroni is located in French Guiana
Location in French Guiana
Coordinates: 5°24′20″N 54°4′40″W / 5.40556°N 54.07778°W / 5.40556; -54.07778
Overseas regionFrench Guiana

Saint-Jean-du-Maroni is a village in French Guiana, in the commune of Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni on the Maroni River. The village is mainly inhabited by Ndyuka Maroons.[1]


Saint-Jean-du-Maroni was established in 1857 as a sub camp of the penal colony Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni, where the convicts had to perform forced labour.[2] When the first prisoners arrived in Camp de la Rélégation on 20 June 1887, nothing was ready and they had to built the camp themselves. Most prisoners were housed in straw huts.[3] The camps were abolished in 1946.[4]

Train at St Jean-du-Maroni (1900)

Between 1890 and 1897, a 16 kilometre Decauville railway was constructed between Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni and Saint-Jean-du-Maroni. The railway was abandoned after the penal camps closed.[5]

In 1987, Jacques Chirac as Prime Minister established Zones of Collective Use Rights (ZDUC). Saint-Jean-du-Maroni is the only Ndyuka village in France with a ZDUC status.[1] ZDUC means that the village has communal land for hunting, fishing, agriculture and gathering.[6]

During 27 and 28 June 1988, a secret meeting was held in Saint-Jean-du-Maroni between the Suriname National Army, Jungle Commando, and France as mediator to discuss peace after the Surinamese Interior War which resulted in the 1989 Kourou ceasefire accords.[7]

Saint-Jean-du-Maroni is home to a military base of the Regiment of the Adapted Military Service (RSMA), and is the site where the General Staff is located.[8]


  1. ^ a b "Un atlas des Zones de droits d'usage collectifs en Guyane". (in French). 2014. Retrieved 31 May 2020.
  2. ^ "French-Guyana" (PDF). Convict Voyages. Retrieved 31 May 2020.
  3. ^ "Le camp de la relégation de Saint-Jean-du-Maroni". Crimino Corpus (in French). Retrieved 7 June 2020.
  4. ^ "St Laurent du Maroni travel". Lonely Planet. Retrieved 31 May 2020.
  5. ^ "Prison Railways in French Guiana, 2014". International Steam. Retrieved 31 May 2020.
  6. ^ "Les zones de droit d'usage des Amérindiens : comprendre les attributions du foncier pour mieux le gérer (1/2)". France la Première (in French). Retrieved 31 May 2020.
  7. ^ "Jungle Commando - Retour sur la guerre civile du Suriname 1986-1992". Une Saison en Guyane (in French). Retrieved 31 May 2020.
  8. ^ "Qui sommes-nous?". RSMA (in French). Retrieved 31 May 2020.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 5°24′20″N 54°4′40″W / 5.40556°N 54.07778°W / 5.40556; -54.07778