Sep 25, 2017
Opinion by Freddie Kissoon
The story of the rape and murder of a 13 year old boy in Sisters’ Village in Berbice is not the kind of nihilistic horror you read about in a country with a population of less than 800, 000. Such sadistic evils occur in large industrial societies where untold numbers are alienated from mainstream society and humans commit unspeaking bestialities.
What happened to 13 year old Leonard was an unspeakable act of gross inhumanity. But is not the act itself that warrants analysis, it is the entire story that began long before Leonard was raped and murdered. Citizens of Sisters Village are telling the press, with compelling evidence, that there was a serial rapist who had done his uncivilised deeds at least seven times before and the police knew about it.
There was a High Court case last year in which a judge sentenced a man to forty five consecutive years for inserting his fingers in the vagina an underaged girl. Yet in Sisters Village, a serial rapist was on the loose and the police treated him with kid gloves. Now he sodomised and killed a thirteen year old boy. There are two problems here. The nature of policing in Guyana is one – the police, before the new government came into power and during the reign of the PPP Government, treated the complaints of violations of poor people with disdain and contempt.
A young unemployed woman told the police, a man slapped her because she protested his touching her buttocks and she is brushed aside. She is the channa and puri woman that sells by the rum shop. A female lawyer makes the same complaint and the police go with big guns to the home of the accused. I know a female lawyer that ran a ‘red light’, struck a UG taxi driver and the police have bluntly refused to release the surveillance tape. I could name the officer and no amount of evidence will result in his removal. This has been the pattern of the Guyana’s police for ages. It will not stop unless good, visionary political leaders transform the police force. We have no such people at present. A man is running around a village, committing crimes that in any other country would be arrested and jailed for more than forty years and the police just did not act.
The second problem is the psychological death of the people of this country. Analysts used banal terms like, “fear,” “silence,” fright,” etc. But the disease goes deeper than that. It is psychological death. Commuters are trembling in a bus while a stupid, idiotic driver is using the wheels wildly. Even if they were afraid there and then, they could have reported him subsequently. This country has seen some terrifying deaths from minibus speeding, but fearful passengers remain fearful and more commuters will die.
There are dentists and doctors who have left patients disfigured. Talk to these victims; their tearful response is; “I don’t want publicity, I’m afraid, nothing will come out of it.” It is left to the media to help these people. And when the media do their job, it ends up with countless libel writs. People have come up to me and Mark Benschop and were ragingly mad about the inaction of the folks who live near to the Le Repentir Dumpsite. The dump inferno was seriously affecting their health. Benschop and I protested, spent three days in the Brickdam lock-ups, and these residents didn’t even walk pass Brickdam Station while we were incarcerated.
Mae’s School abruptly terminated the status of children found with mobile phones. Some of these children came from prominent homes. Twice I wrote about the traumas these children suffered at being kicked out. But the Rights of the Child Commission was silent. Society was silent. If I only hear about another sudden expulsion from Mae, I promise that school they will get a court order.
No one wants to speak up about impending disasters and these catastrophes are going to destroy Guyana sooner than later. No one cared about the warning signs from the Camp Street Prison long before 2016. No one cares about the brutal violations of vendors by the City Police. And we know one of these vendors is going to freak out one day with horrifying consequences. Remember a disgruntled student almost burned Queen’s College to the ground.
A plague of diseased fear has taken over the psychology of this hapless nation and that was the direct cause of the sodomy and murder of Leonard Archibald. There will be more Leonard Archibalds. There will be more prison riots. There will be more homeless people roaming the streets killing people. There will be more container trucks running wild at rush hour, killing paedestrians and cyclists. There will be more doctors killing patients. Can we stop this nihilism? I honestly think it is too late. My suggestion? Get out while you can.