Police must be commended for work in Saffon Street murder and robbery by John Da Silva
Guyana Chronicle
May 24, 2002

Related Links: Articles on crime
Letters Menu Archival Menu

The Police must be commended for the speedy arrest of three suspects in connection with the Saffon Street murder and robbery.

Of special note is that one of the suspects was brought in by a parent who must be fully commended for taking such action and which sends a powerful message to society.

The majority of the people in this country especially in Georgetown and along the East Coast road are terrified by the recent upsurge in violent crimes and robberies resulting in the murders of innocent citizens.

These are some in the society who for vicious and narrow political ends and because of frustrated ambitions have been seeking to portray this crime as racially motivated.

In the Mash Day jail break-out by five prisoners one young male Prison Officer now at the start of his career was shot dead in cold blood and a female officer who was professionally carrying out her duties along with the slain officer was seeking to prevent the escape, was also shot and grievously wounded. Both were Afro-Guyanese performing an important service to the country.

The five armed and dangerous escapees and other criminal elements have seemingly been provided with safe havens and an infrastructure of support so much so that among other things they are able to print and distribute leaflets threatening violence to Policemen, Ministers of government and other officials and their families and have described themselves as Freedom Fighters on behalf of Afro-Guyanese.

This prompted Andaiye, a genuine Freedom Fighter to write a letter in the Press in which she said it quite clear that the five escapees who have described themselves as “freedom fighters” on behalf of Afro-Guyanese cannot do so in her name.

In the last paragraph of her letter she says “I do not know what acts you have committed since you left prison, killing one man and wounding one woman in the process. But at the very least you are driving fear into children, women and men who have done nothing to deserve it, and you cannot do so in my name.”

I am quite sure that she is speaking for the majority of Afro-Guyanese.
I also saw a part of a television programme in which Afro-Guyanese living in a neighbouring village to Annandale who had attempted to go to the aid of the Indian family at Annandale, but could not do so because of the guns, which the murderous bandits had. Another Afro-Guyanese man who was employed by the slain man and his wife could not have gone to their aid because of the guns in the hands of the criminals. Both of the men have expressed abhorrence at this brutal crime.

United States Ambassador Mr Ron Godard recently referred to the crime wave in our country and said that criminal violence which is normally roundly condemned by all sectors of society has been treated almost like “a legitimate subject for debate” and he pointed out that there should be absolutely no room for doubt as Guyana is a democratic society which relies on respect for the rule of law. He said: “There is no justification for criminal violence in a democratic society, just as there is no justification for political violence in a democracy.”

“The crime wave has scared a lot of people but we should keep the recent crime wave in perspective.” He also stated “Guyana’s friends in the international donor community including my own country are prepared to help in this regard.”

His Caribbean counterpart High Commissioner Mr Serge Marcoux fully subscribed to what the US Ambassador said “that there is no justification for criminal violence in a democratic society, just as there is no justification for political violence in a democracy”.

Referring to Guyana he went on to say, “Ten years ago it opted, through free and fair elections, for democracy. But democracy cannot be defined only by the periodic holding of elections. Democracy is also defined by the inclusiveness of all citizens in the process of government; democracy is defined by the quality in the dialogue between the politicians themselves, whatever their political allegiance, between the politician and civil society. He went on, “This is the kind of democracy that all our governments have promised to uphold during the last Summit of the Americas.”

Most Guyanese welcome these expressions of support by the US Ambassador and the Canadian High Commissioner and also support by the governments of the United Kingdom and other countries and must support and join in all efforts that are made to put an end to these brutal violent crimes and to bring the perpetrators to justice.