Threats force Chester family out of village
August 9, 2002
Further threats to kill the entire Chester family forced them to flee the East Coast Demerara village of Friendship to an undisclosed location yesterday.
The Chesters’ homes at Brusche Dam, Friendship, were torched early Wednesday morning by unknown assailants, and two members, Devon Chester and his 16-year-old niece, Malika, 16, were shot.
As fire raged in their homes and gunmen shot at them, the matriarch of the family, 63-year-old Edris Chester and her four-year-old grandson were forced to jump from the upper storey of one of the houses.
They hid under some vines in the yard, and later escaped to the safety of a Guyana Defence Force patrol in the area.
But even as they hid at another home in the village, word spread that there were plans to find and execute the nine displaced family members, one relative told this newspaper yesterday.
As a result, the Chesters hurriedly left and are now fugitives from the village they once called home.
The Chesters said that they had been accused of aiding the police and had been the targets of attacks for several months now. The attacks had their genesis in an admonition by Edris Chester that robbers return the possessions of a man who had been robbed on Brusche Dam.
The army, which went to the scene after hearing of the fire, was unable to apprehend the arsonists/gunmen. The Chester family says the army could have done more.