Bacchus laid to rest
---few turned up to bid farewell charges likely soon
Kaieteur News
July 2, 2004

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“This ain’t right.” “I barely hear that he getting buried today.” “Leh we get a last chance to see he before y’all put he down.” “You with your family now ya’ll must come back and haunt the vultures.” “God gon do the rest.”

These were among the many comments as tomb builders sealed the final resting place of the murdered self-confessed death squad informant, George “Bombalay” Bacchus, yesterday.

As the funeral was in progress, Bacchus’s elder brother, who stood guard at the casket throughout the Christian funeral rights, stated, “It’s over. George gon get some peace now. No more looking over he shoulder to see who gon kill he.”

Earlier at the parlour, people of varying backgrounds filed pass the coffin at intervals to catch a glimpse of a man who would be remembered with mixed emotions in Guyana’s history.

Some went to bid farewell to a friend and family, some for curiosity, and others to ensure that he was dead indeed.

Yesterday from about 7:00 a.m., a small gathering, including two sisters, a brother and other relatives of Bacchus, turned up at Sandy’s Funeral Home to pay their final respects to the man whose startling disclosures stirred much tension in the country.

To some he was a bitter man with an axe to grind; to others he was an informant with a tool so dangerous that it possibly could have toppled a government; and to yet others he was a hero.

Whichever was befitting many a life was made uncomfortable while for others life became unsettled and risky. He had many enemies as did he friends.

Bacchus, at the end of it all, has now been placed alongside his three brothers and his father in a family tomb at the Le Repentir, cemetery.

The relatives who turned up were few. Some of those who did, sought anonymity for reasons unknown. Some reported that family members overseas were reluctant to come for the funeral.

“They are upset and fearful at the serious events in the country which led to his death and that of his brother,” one relative told Kaieteur News.

Shafeek Bacchus suffered the same fate six months earlier.

“No more ‘Bombalay’ boy,” his brother stuttered, wiping tears from his eyes, as the tomb was being sealed.

Bacchus was laid to rest next to his late brother Shafeek, whose death sparked much condemnation and protest action as information about the killing squad hit the news.

Shafeek, allegedly mistaken for his brother George, was gunned down in front of his home in Princes Street, on January 5, last.

Shafeek Bacchus’s death triggered the release of some very incriminating allegations about a death squad and the involvement of Home Affairs Minister Ronald Gajraj, and some identifiable members of the Guyana Police Force.

Two of the men implicated in the revelations have since died.

One was gunned down, the other died under mysterious circumstances while a patient at the Georgetown Public Hospital.

“Every time this boy (Bacchus) come fuh see meh, I does always tell he stop this thing; forget wah happen and move on. But he always cuss meh and seh that dem who kill he brother (Shafeek), got to pay and he gon go all out to expose dem,” the brother recalled. He added that George was very close to Shafeek and could not get over his death.

George Bacchus is the fourth brother to have died, three of them under violent circumstances.

The eldest brother said that George Bacchus never confided in him and that he has absolutely no knowledge of whatever George revealed these past months.

A family friend, who tended to Bacchus when he was a child, said that the journey through life takes people to different paths and it is very unfortunate that Bacchus had to reach such an end.

“Two brothers who get killed in this brutal way must cause raised eyebrows. Something got to come out of this. I love this country but it dangerous.”

Among those who arrived late and were disappointed was leader of the Justice For All Party and controversial talk show host, Chandra Narine Sharma.