There is evil in every society but more recently there seems to be a surfeit of it in Guyana. People kill each other at the drop of a hat; men beat their wives to death for no other reason than she refused to give them money to buy alcohol.
Of course, there are those men who accuse their women of infidelity merely on the say so of a friend or neighbor and of course, these days school children readily stab each other, sometimes fatally. Gone are the days when children waited until the end of the week to settle their differences in a good old fashioned fist fight.
The incident that pushed my mind in this direction was the disappearance of a boy who was no more than thirteen years old.
He had left his home on East Bank Berbice to go to a location where his sisters were attending a party. It was still fairly bright in the day but like rural folk, their mother wanted her son to escort them. His job was to prevent them from any harm.
The boy found his sisters but like most boys with a bicycle he opted to cycle slowly ahead. He did not have far to go to reach home but he never did. His mother was surprised when his sisters reached home and he did not. I could imagine the shock to the girls. The boy was just ahead of them.
It turned out that sometime before his sisters could catch up, some men abducted him. At first glance I would have suggested that they were drug addicts. It turned out that they were worse. They were male sexual predators.
The facts are that they grabbed the child and probably took him to one of their homes where they sodomised him.
This much have been gleaned from the police. One of them reportedly told the police that when the boy lapsed into unconsciousness they threw him into the nearby river. Up to the time of writing his body is still to be found.
Not so long ago there was another case involving a child, this time in South Sophia. This child simply disappeared. When his body was found it lay in a bit of swampy land just outside a neighbour’s back door.
There were many suspicions. Some alleged that the woman did her best to keep people away from her back door, suggesting that she knew what would be found. People are killing children again and thinking nothing about it.
Fortunately distraught parents are not seeking to take the law into their own hands. I buried a son who died of natural causes. I am not sure how I would have reacted if someone had killed him for some unusual reason.
Two people will probably spend the rest of their natural lives in jail for killing a 16-year-old child. One of the killers was the mother. I do not know the reason because that did not come out in court simply because the killers chose to deny the killing.
There was a time way back in the 1960 when a man abducted and killed children, one body I recall, was found along Thomas Road. I am not sure if this man met his end at the hands of the law.
We read of child killings in other countries and we say that such heinous acts happen in other countries. Today, once more they are happening here in this country. I am not even thinking about some other heinous child killings like the father who slaughtered his three children as they lay in their bed at Soesdyke.
He reportedly was angry at their mother who had left him. His was an interesting case. He landed in the Camp Street jail and the prisoners there exacted some vengeance on him. I remember his sister telling me that someone called her from the jail to hear the beating.
There was a mother who, in a fit of madness, poisoned her children. That stuck in my mind because before she was even committed to stand trial, the late President Cheddi Jagan told the press that she would not hang. I do not know where she is today.
The man who killed his children and that mother were in a fit of passion. The men who killed this boy must been in a fit of passion of another sort. That they can sit and talk to the police must be a rewarding experience for them. Moses’s law would have been appropriate although one should not take the law into one’s own hands.
There was a case in Berbice that resulted in the hanging of the last woman to walk to the gallows. She and accomplices snatched a girl called Lilawattie for some ritual.
The law back in the 1950s did not take kindly to such shenanigans.
Many years later, I remember Forbes Burnham who defended the woman, Fullington, saying that she should not have been hanged. I can’t say that I agree with him, even if she did not do the actual killing. She would have been an accomplice. I know for certain that she will never kill another child.
And so we return to these two who admitted to sodomising the child then killing him. They knew that what they did was wrong so they opted to dispose of the body. It is a pity society will not dispose of them.
The human rights advocates will preach something akin to mercy which these men failed to show the boy. And this boy will never live to make a meaningful contribution to society, if only to help his mother out of poverty.
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