Who killed George Bacchus?
June 25, 2004
Who killed George Bacchus? This is the question that is being discussed, and in some cases being answered, throughout the length and breath of Guyana.
For some, there is the belief that Bacchus was killed by a person or persons connected to the government. For others, they believe that the opposition is trying to frame the government so as to start trouble in the country.
This country is so divided that even before the evidence is weighed, even before the facts of the actual killing are clear, persons in our society are jumping to conclusions.
On one side, there are those who see this as an opportunity to blame the government even though they themselves were given the opportunity some time ago, to present evidence they claimed they had. Then there is the other side that sees the killing as a conspiracy to set up the government and become the catalysts to cause trouble.
Unfortunately, getting to the bottom of Bacchus’s killing requires hard police work and rather than persons engaging in emotional speculation, conjecture or finger pointing, we should wait until a fuller picture emerges before jumping to hasty conclusions.
The politicians have to score political points. And that is what will happen in this case.
But that will be of no comfort to the friends and relatives of the man who confessed that he was a willing informant to an alleged killing squad.
It is all well and good to get pumped about things, like we did when Bacchus first made his allegations. But what we want to know is the truth and rather than jumping the gun and running amok with stories and innuendoes, we should ensure that we fully understand the circumstances of Bacchus’s death.
Rushing to conclusions may satisfy a lowly instinct to condemn some body or group of persons whom we hate.
This is never the sensible or rational approach to deal with these matters. Rather than blaming others without first having made out a case, we should be more mature and carefully assess the circumstances surrounding Bacchus’s death.
The first thing that the average citizen should do is to try to get as much information as possible. But there has to be a word of caution. Facts need to be corroborated and supported lest we falsely accuse someone and commit a far greater injustice than the one we are trying to put right.
We need to find out, for example, where Bacchus was when he was shot, whether there were evidence of forced entry, whether Bacchus felt safe enough to sleep without adequate security, especially in light of an interview he did with a talk show host where it was stated that he was very secure.
From the footage shown on television, we should disabuse ourselves of the notion that Bacchus slept on the ground floor or was shot through a window by someone with telescopic lens. This is a very remote possibility since the footage showed Bacchus being lifted down the steep staircase.
It was also reported that a warhead was found, suggesting that Bacchus received at least one shot from within the house.
These are the types of facts that the public must analyse so as to gain a fuller and accurate picture of the circumstances leading to the death of George Bacchus.
Next we come to motive. Theoretically, there are a number of persons who would have an interest in Bacchus’s elimination. But, I certainly never felt that he posed any threat as a witness to the government or to the Home Affairs Minister since he had recanted his story, then recanted the recantation etc.
It is good to know that the PNCR has made available to the police the sworn affidavits made by Bacchus. The government had been calling on those who had information to go to the police. The PNC first claimed that the police may be involved. Now they have found it politically expedient do so.
But it is shocking that the same PNCR has not made available to the police, the evidence that it claimed it had before Bacchus’s affidavits of June 9, 2004.
I would have loved to see how Bacchus would have defended those statements under cross-examination.It would have been interesting to see how his tales would have stood up to scrutiny. Who knows whether preventing him from being cross-examined about his accusations could be another theoretical motive for his killing?
The views that I have heard so far, link Bacchus’s death with his death squad revelations. But we must never rule out the unexpected. We must also consider whether his death could have been unrelated to the death squad allegations.
There is, therefore, a logical process that should be followed in analysing this death.
We must first get the facts and then determine what conclusions can be logically drawn, i.e. we start with the facts before we get to the conclusions. Not as some in Guyana are wont to do, i.e. to fit facts to a particular version.
I urge the readers to ensure that what you consider as facts can stand up to scrutiny.
You are all sensible people and should not allow emotionalism and partisanship to cloud your judgment on this important issue.
And if you want the facts, I encourage you to read the Kaieteur News for the facts. You do not need to pay forty dollars for a supplement, which merely recaps old stories. This newspaper will give you the facts and the background, at no extra cost.