NEWS AMERICAS, GEORGETOWN, Guyana, Tues. Sept. 8, 2020: Guyana police last night said they have arrested five persons in connection with the shocking murders of two teenage boys in West Coast Berbice.
Isaiah and Joel Henry, ages 16 and 19, respectively, were found murdered on Sunday at a coconut farm at Cotton Tree, West Coast Berbice, a day after they went missing. Their bodies were mutilated with chops on their necks, heads and face. The murders have triggered protests in Hope Town that led to Guyana police firing tear gas and rubber pellets in an effort to break up the protestors.
Police say among those arrested to date is a 57-year-old man upon whose estate the bodies were found as well as a handyman who worked with the estate owner, and his son. The gruesome murders filled many with shock on social media Monday.
Guyana’s President, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali, yesterday assured the families of slain the teens that he will work with law enforcement to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to swift justice. The President said he made this commitment to the families, during a telephone call, this morning, to Gladston Henry, the father of Isaiah and Gail Johnson, the mother of Joel.
The President said the murders are particularly heinous and reiterated his government’s commitment to bring those responsible to justice.
“I assure you that as President, I will work very, very hard to ensure those criminals are brought to justice…. We have to work on ensuring that crimes like these do not reoccur,” President Ali said, while also calling on the nation, and Berbicians in particular, to stand in solidarity during this tragic time and to offer their support to the teenagers’ grieving parents, relatives and community.
“I want to ask all Guyanese not to use this moment to divide us or to separate us, but for us to be conscious of the implications that our statements, comments and posts can have, especially on social media… I can tell you the parents of these two young men are sincere; they are humble people, and as they go through this moment of loss, as they grieve in these moments, communities from which these young men came… what we can do as a people, as a country, as Guyanese is to strengthen our resolve, strengthen our commitment, strengthen our sense of purpose to our communities, to our neighbours, to our friends, to each other in ensuring that our society… our communities do not have to go through these painful moments,” President Ali said.
The President also called on the public to exercise patience and to allow the Guyana Police Force to conduct their investigations.
“I ask that you give them an opportunity to complete their work, to support them as they seek to aggressively bring the perpetrators to justice; that whatever we do in demonstrating our emotions, I appeal to you to do so in a peaceful manner, to do so in a respectful manner, to do so in a lawful manner,” the President added.