GEORGETOWN, Guyana – The main opposition group, the coalition of A Partnership for National Unity and the Alliance for Change (APNU+AFC) Monday presented a motion to the National Assembly, calling on police to fast-track its probe into the “hate” killing of three youths in West Coast Berbice in September.
“We are here in our representative capacity to symbolically present a motion to the Parliament of which we are a part to call on the police force to expedite its investigations of the murder of the Henry cousins, and Haresh Singh,” AFC Chairman Raphael Trotman told reporters.
The battered bodies of 18-year-old Joel Henry, a laborer, and 16-year-old Isaiah Henry, a student, were found in the Cotton Tree back dam, West Coast Berbice, on September 6, one day after they reportedly had gone to pick coconuts.
The killings led to residents blocking roads and burned tires demanding swift justice for the cousins. The opposition said then that the killings marked “another horrific and tragic day in our beloved country with two boys senselessly cut down in the prime of their youth.”
Police are also investigating the death of Haresh Singh, who was killed, and his motorcycle burnt as he had headed to his farm on September 9.
The Guyana Police Force (GPF) recently said several persons were arrested after investigators had been given leads in response to a three-million-dollar (One Guyana dollar=US 0.004 cents) reward for information leading to the arrest prosecution of anyone connected to the killings.
The parents, who were at the Parliament Building on Monday to witness the delivery of the motion to the Clerk of the National Assembly, Sherlock Isaacs, said they had not heard any significant updates from police.
“I need justice for my son, and the time is too long. It is taking too long. I need them to speed it up and let me get justice for my son because he is just sixteen (years), and his cousin was just eighteen, and it is not easy to lose a sixteen-year-old,” said Patricia Henry, Isaiah’s mother.
Trotman told reporters that based on the mutilated condition of the bodies of Joel and Isaiah Henry, it was clear that they were “hate” crimes and called the police “egregiously incompetent.”
The former government minister said that while the Irfaan Ali government appeared unwilling to support the arrival of an Argentine team of forensic pathologists, it has not done anything to bring others from the United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Britain’s Scotland Yard or top Canadian investigators.
“These crimes undoubtedly hate crimes. I’ll stop saying whether hate because of politics or hate because of race or even gender. Still, I believe that anyone who saw those bodies, either physically or through photography, would agree that whoever did this was full of hate and so the longer it takes for these crimes to be solved, the greater the inferences that the public will draw, the more pain the families will feel,” said Trotman.
A Barbados-based Regional Security System (RSS) investigative team, which visited Guyana as part of the probe, had collected samples and taken them to a St. Lucia laboratory for DNA testing. Still, none of them had matched samples taken from the suspects.
The Guyana government and the GPF have refused to say why the trousers in which one of the Henrys’ body was found had not been sent for DNA testing.
“We will not allow this matter to die, and we will be filing several motions,” Trotman said, promising.
That the coalition would be tabling similar motions at town and regional councils across Guyana.