Berbice murders: President urges citizens not to allow heinous crime to divide the nation

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President Dr Irfaan Ali

In an address to the nation this afternoon, President Dr Irfaan Ali made another passionate appeal to residents of West Coast Berbice to express their emotions in a manner that is lawful and respectful and allow the Guyana Police Force (GPF) to carry out its duties uninterrupted.

“Whatever you do in demonstrating your emotions, I speak to you to do so in a peaceful manner, in a respectful manner…I understand the hurt,” the President urged.

Dr Ali expressed that it is quite unfortunate the manner in which the two Berbice teens met their deaths and pledged that as President he will work very hard to ensure that justice is served.

He related that he spoke with the parents of the victims and assured them that his Government is committed to bringing the perpetrators of the heinous crime to justice.

“I assure them that as President, I will work very, very hard to ensure that those criminals are brought to justice and as society, as a country we have to heal, we have to work on strengthening our relationship. We have to work in ensuring that at times like these, criminalities like this do not reoccur.”

The President also cautioned all Guyanese to be very careful regarding their statements and comments on social media so as to avoid the situation deteriorating.

“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 could have, especially on social media.”

He added: “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 neighbors, our friends, to each other…our community does not have to go through these painful moments, these tragic moments that these events would have caused.”

The badly-mutilated bodies of 16-year-old Isaiah Henry and 19-year-old Joel Henry of West Coast Berbice (WCB) were discovered almost one day after they went missing. They reportedly left on Friday to pick coconuts in the backdam.

Their disappearance prompted family members to launch several search parties to look for them. After hours of searching, the badly-chopped bodies were discovered among the bushes and were partially covered in mud.

The murders have sparked outrage in the community on Sunday resulting in a fiery protest calling for justice to be served.

President Irfaan had earlier pledged that all resources will be utilised to ensure that the persons who are found to be involved in the gruesome murders of the two teens are brought to justice in a swift manner.

Three persons have since been taken into custody including a 57-year-old man upon whose estate there were what appeared to be bloodstains, a handyman who worked with the estate owner, and his son.