US citizen and family beaten, robbed during WCB protests

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A scene from the unrest that took place in West Berbice

A US citizen and her family were on Tuesday terrorised and robbed, and their car almost set on fire amid protests in West Berbice.

The protests started off as a movement to demand justice for cousins 16-year-old Isaiah and 19-year-old Joel Henry, whose mutilated bodies were found at a backdam at Cotton Tree, West Coast Berbice (WCB) on Sunday.

However, the protests quickly descended into lawlessness where persons were being attacked and robbed.

One such victim is US woman who told this publication that she and her family were robbed of GY$300,000, a cellphone, and other items after the car they were travelling in came under attack at Hopetown, WCB.

The family was heading to the city to conduct some important business when they were directed by police to use a backstreet as a result of the unrest on the public road.

However, they ended up encountering a mob of protesters who were stopping and checking the vehicles that were passing by.

“There were at least four or five vehicles in front of us and there were local people on bicycles. One man specifically was circling all the cars, and when we got to this very narrow piece on the road, the guys on the bicycle came and started going in to each car to see who was inside of the car… when they noticed [us], they let all the other cars pass and we were stopped and started getting attacked.”

The woman said they were dragged out of the car, beaten, and all of their items including their US documents were taken.

She said, in fear, her and her family began to beg for their lives.

After begging for a long period, they were allowed to go. However, they were led right back into another group of men on a truck, that was branded with the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) logo.

They also started demanding that they hand over their belongings.

“They wanted to rob us more and we told them that guys from the backstreet already took what ever we had. We were pleading with them because we needed our stuff to go back to the US,” she explained.

The woman was eventually able to recover her documents but not her money or other items.

She told INews that she had only came to Guyana last week to conduct some business.

The woman and her family were eventually escorted out of the area by GDF ranks and they were able to reach Georgetown by midnight Tuesday.

They said during those hours, they were left hungry since they had no money to buy anything to eat. The family is now left stranded in Georgetown with no money to return home.

They are calling on higher authorities to help them return home.