This little child was lured into a trap

Stabroek News

May 26, 2004

Related Links: Letters on abducted 13 year old
Letters Menu Archival Menu

Dear Editor,

I have been following your reportage of the grim saga of the prominent businessman who virtually kidnapped a 13-year old girl to make her a prey for his sexual appetites. In your editor's note to Mr. McCormack's letter captioned "Readers are offended by explicit reporting" (23.5.2004) you provided no reason, sensible or otherwise, for publishing the full name of the victim's mother, but not publishing the businessman's name in your first (May 21) report on the incident.

Your attitude is typical of a culture that has little or no respect for the rights of children. Adults, especially rich and prominent ones, are deemed innocent, while children, especially the poor and obscure, are branded guilty. The child is innocent. It is irrelevant that the poor child wanted to go with the rich man. She is a child who has been lured by a cunning manipulative predator into a sex trap. The child must be protected at all costs. Is the businessman so lacking in gentlemanly charms that he is unable to woo a beautiful intelligent lady of his own age, instead he must need venture to beguile an innocent child?

Your newspaper persists in calling the child the businessman's 'sweetheart'. What does a little child know about adult love and adult 'sweetheart'? In spite of the bilge that the electronic media spew out about children being 'big before their time', children are still children until they slowly mature into responsible adulthood under proper guidance. I also note that your May 22 headline stated that 'Businessman grabs 13-yr-old', not 'kidnaps' or 'abducts', as if 'grabbing' were a lesser crime than kidnapping. This vulgar euphemism was repeated in your May 23 edition on page 14. You have invented a new term to replace kidnapping of innocent girl children by sexual predators. Shades of Bush's 'unlawful combatants'.

According to the news report, efforts by the mother to get help from the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security and the police were unsuccessful. Even our social services seem unable and/or unwilling to enforce the rights of the child. There is always a clamour to protect ethnic groups, but when it comes to protecting children the silence is thunderous.

Anyway I congratulate Stabroek News for carrying this story as I have noticed that a popular daily known to have a wont for sniffing out filthy rags has not reported one word of this outrage. No doubt if it were a certain talk show host, they would have plastered his face all over their front page. Is there any truly independent newspaper in Guyana that has no sacred cows? Our Rights of Child organisation, other protective social agencies and social commentators seem to be blind, deaf and dumb concerning this infamy.

Yours faithfully,

M. Xiu Quan-Balgobind-


Editor's note

We do not identify abused children in our reports. In this case, the mother was desperate and wanted her plight aired. She had got no help from the authorities and had had to file court proceedings.