Caribbean News, Latin America News:
NEWS AMERICAS, GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Mon. Sept. 14, 2020: Simultaneous calls for justice and peace echoed yesterday at Parade Ground in Georgetown, Guyana as a funeral service for the first of two teens found brutally murdered last Sunday in West Coast Berbice was held.
Dozens wearing masks and practicing social distance, showed up at the Park to bid adieu to Joel and Isaiah Henry at a Farewell Service organized by the International Decade for People of African Descent Assembly-Guyana. The boys were found brutally murdered in the back lands of Cotton Tree, West Coast Berbice. So far, four of the seven persons initially arrested for questioning in the murders, have been released due to a lack of evidence. A postmortem examination found that they both died from hemorrhage and shock due to multiple incised injuries.
The family’s lawyer Nigel Hughes yesterday was quoted by Newsroom Guyana as saying that the murders of the boys and that of 17-year-old Haresh Singh who was killed in the height of protests for justice for the teens “did not occur in a vacuum and the reactions to their awful brutal deaths did not occur without context.”
He called on leaders to do better as he said the unhealed wounds of racism and ethnicity can no longer be “ignored, denied or dis-acknowledged,” adding that “Guyana is better than this.”
Chairperson of the Peoples National Congress/Reform, (PNC/R) Volda Lawrence, stressed the importance of getting justice immediately.
“Don’t let us leave here today and forget these boys. Let us resolutely take that charge to ensure that there is justice for Isaiah and Joel. Let us take that charge as mothers, women and fathers to protect and nurture every boy and girl in this land,” she was quoted by News Room as saying.
Guyana President Irfaan Ali joined family members early Sunday morning for a private viewing of the murdered teen cousins at the Sandy’s Funeral Home, Georgetown ahead of a procession to Number Three Village, West Coast Berbice where they were laid to rest.
Reflecting on the manner in which the boys died, President Ali said the best honor for the memory of the boys should be a commitment to peace and unity. “What we can pray for ultimately is for justice for these two young men, for peace and unity and to let their lives be a legacy for the future of Guyana,” he stated, adding emphatically that such a heinous act must never reoccur.
“These events must never occur again… in the memory of these two young men, all of Guyana should recommit to love, peace unity and to serve in God. Today I ask the rest of Guyana to reflect in a peaceful manner, to reflect in prayer and to hold up the families in prayer. I urge all of Guyana to reflect calmly today,” President Ali added.
The President was joined by the father of Isaiah Henry and cousin of Joel Henry, Gladson Henry, who opened the day’s proceedings with a prayer in which he too called for everything to be done in an orderly and peaceful manner.