The killing of two Afro-Guyanese, teenage boys has sent ripples throughout the Number Three Village, West Coast Berbice, triggering chaotic protest action. The gruesome act is being used by some sections of society to exacerbate already fractured race relations in Guyana. The President, Dr Irfaan Ali is calling for its cessation, and “strong” action to be taken against those who are hellbent on fueling such narratives.
Already, several agencies have been calling for justice using the Black Lives Matter (BLM) social media hashtag campaign.
The North American faction of the People’s National Congress (PNCR) stated in a release yesterday said that the teens’ “only crime was being black”.
Several commentators have also stated that the crime signals a return of the senseless killing of black youths; referencing allegations of 400 Afro-Guyanese who were killed during the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) 23-year reign.
At a press conference today, Dr Ali said that he is in receipt of more than a thousand messages bringing to his attention comments from well-placed individuals who are suggesting that the murder of the two teens were racially motivated. Some of these comments “borderline criminality”, he said.
President Ali said that the police should be allowed to do their investigation, while adding that swift justice must be served on the perpetrators.
He added that the government is willing and able to address the deep-seated racism in Guyana, but all stakeholders must be part of that discussion.
The President said that Youth Advisory Council (YAC) will be working to repair fractured race relations in Guyana to promote peace in the country.
The bodies of Joel Henry, 18, and Isaiah Henry, 16, of Lots 26 and 32 Number 3 Village, West Coast Berbice, respectively, were discovered yesterday aback Cotton Tree. Their murders were said to have been committed sometime between September 5 and 6.
An Estate Owner, his son, and a handyman are in custody assisting police with the investigation.