Armed incursion in my ranch by GDF
Stabroek News
January 11, 2002

Dear Editor,

In early November, my wife and I discovered that the Guyana Defence Force at Lethem had branded one of our horses. After a lot of back and forth to the very young Lieutenant Gibson, we were assisted by Sgt. Goodman of the Lethem police station and our horse was returned to us.

On Thursday, Lieutenant Gibson, driven by a private person known to my wife and I as a strong PPP supporter, and with PPP activists Bernard and Brian Rodrigues, along with another PPP supporter Ryan Khan and one other man unknown to us, came to our small ranch/farm where we make a subsistence living threatening that he had got a letter from his superior in Georgetown to take back the horse. The driver's name is something like Ian Yahn. I told him that I thought the November issue was over, and that if not, coming into a private home area brandishing sub machine guns was certainly not the way to do it. Gibson said he takes orders only from the President and no other. I enquired why not his commanding officer, and said that he sounds as though under political orders. One of the young soldiers then cranked his machine gun saying that dis gon end ugly heh today. Then the other two cranked their weapons. At no time did Gibson reprimand them nor did he tell them to stop threatening me. I am convinced that had I not stopped speaking completely, these soldiers would have killed me.

Gibson then asked for permission to search our residence's grounds for GDF horses. I said he was welcome to do just that. Gibson, who was himself not carrying a sub machine gun, then went to his vehicle some 100 yards away and sent two others in one direction and the third gunman in another. They then all returned to their vehicle, drove off, only to stop again some 300 yards away where one of the gunmen/soldiers caught one of our horses, rode around the place intimidatingly, got off, and they all left in the vehicle. All of our horses carry a hidden identification mark but I did not say so in November in fear that if Gibson was proven wrong, our horse would have been killed.

Having been an M.P on the PPP side up to July 1997, and after having left the PPP to sit on the opposite benches with Desmond Hoyte and the PNC party, which was and remains my constitutional right so to do in a democratic country, and after having another serious act of victimization against my wife and I in December of 2000, by the PPP government, forcing me to spend lots of money in court which matter continues to this day, my family and I live in fear of the PPP government. While I was in parliament, my wife was chairman of region 9 here in the Rupununi. She was asked by then minister of regional affairs, Harry Persaud Nokta to facilitate East Indians in the Lethem area with buying of govt. tractors and the like for next to nothing. She, even though being East Indian herself, refused and our nightmare in the PPP began.

That, among ideological reasons is why we ultimately left the PPP in 1997. In a country with all sorts of extra judicial killings being part of our history, I am fearful for my life and that of my wife and children. We have made a report again today to Sgt. Goodman, who reiterated that he had told young Gibson in November last year that he was tired of numerous other similar complaints by other Rupununi folk, and that they had even branded a police horse. I am asking, through your media house, for help just to be left alone by the PPP government. Indeed, I'm begging your help mainly for my family, to be allowed to live. Please help stop this political victimization and terrorism.

Yours faithfully,

Eddie da Silva