After almost three long, painful years, an alleged lawbreaker is back in Guyana. It has been three torturous years of grueling struggle on two points of the Atlantic. There is so much that could be said of what has taken powerful grasp of this society and which now prevails in many minds at many levels in many places.
Compliments of an American decision (and implementation), human cargo has arrived here. It is, at once, both invitation and challenge to the justice system and justice culture of this country to probe for truth, perhaps even to rediscover itself.
The rapid succession of events from near three years ago when subjected to even the most cursory of examinations reveals what has gone wrong here in so many areas of Guyanese life. It is of how determined and influential men and women could bend events to their beck and call, their capricious whims, to guarantee certain desired outcomes, even when the charge is of the highest crimes against the people and the sovereign state.
In this particular instance, it is the capital charge of murder.
Without pronouncing for one moment on the guilt or innocence of any of the alleged involved parties, this publication seeks to sift through the convergences of occasions that led to that most harrowing of situations, where a working man, a family man who maybe should have been more sedate, lost his life in the most heinous of circumstances.
And in all of what happened, as covered and carried in great detail, there is throughout the ingredients of the horrendous, stomach-churning milieu that is of the Guyana today, and which is so well known, without question, and the thankful absence of controversy and contradictions. This much has been made public, most of which is not disputed.
There was a gathering for socialising and celebrating in the time-honoured Guyanese way. That means there was a lot of rum drinking, a lot of the roistering, which accompanies such situations, and that often led to men going too far, not knowing their limits, and then the bottom drops out.
There were lots of liquids and liquors which came, compliments of lots of money of the fabled overseas variety: the Yankee dollar of lyrical Mighty Sparrow rhythms. Somebody lost control, maybe more than one, according to what can be gleaned. And then the other side, the dark and ominous side of Guyana came to light.
From all accounts, it is of one who could not say ‘no’ to one more, but who did say not that, not me, not now, not ever. And for that, somebody who couldn’t take no for an answer, decided that then there will be no more of that kind of demeaning negative in the future.
The first enraged, arrogant broadside was quick in coming: take care of it, as attested to by the facts and circumstances. It was, of that there is no doubt; the how is what matters, and what followed in the when and where and who, even more indicative of what passes for family and money, the search for truth through the thickets of terror and trauma, and the tainted pursuits of law enforcement and justice.
Today, there is the reality of a done deal, a rare extradition enforced after an arduous journey captured in ink and print, in images and the instructive technologies of the times. But what went on between today and three years ago, at the inception of this sordid affair, has possessed and exhibited all the elements of the unreal.
It is of murder made to look like an accident, of police corruption and cover-up, of attempted witness tampering and intimidation, of reported family coercion, and of the wheels of justice due seized up, twisted and turned, and reversed arbitrarily.
At the dirty core of the now characteristic commerce of this sorry, sick land, it is of the power of money, it’s vast reach, it’s terrible and frightening assault on the conscience, on personal constitutions, and on the many convictions that ought to have happened, but never did.
We will never know–not now, nor in the fullness of a time that will not come-of how many were cheated and thwarted, how many were denied and degraded, and how the scales of fairness and justice have been bent, torn into shreds, and then discarded out of contention.
In the coming days, what unfolds would be more than test of the substance of the entire justice system and of the depth societal character. It would be about a nation itself on trial. As a reminder: this paper speaks not a word about guilt or innocence, only the blind balance of justice.
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