Protest continues over brutal murder of Berbice teens


The public road at Number 5 Village, West Coast Berbice (WCB) remains blocked as residents continue to call for justice for teen cousins, Isaiah and Joel Henry whose battered and mutilated bodies were discovered in Cotton Tree Sunday.

Tree trunks, tyres and other discarded items were used to block the road as Police ranks stood on either side.

Persons desirous of passing the village are required to park their vehicles and walk to the other side of the blockade.

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Sixteen-year-old Isaiah and 18-year-old Joel Henry left their Number Three village homes on Saturday morning to pick coconuts in the backlands. On Sunday, their bodies were discovered with chops to their necks, heads, face and limbs; their bodies were discovered 600 ft apart.

The gruesome murders have shocked the nation and have resulted in condemnation from a wide cross-section of society. Residents have been protesting since Sunday night.

The murder was condemned by Leader of the main Opposition Joseph Harmon and President Irfaan Ali.

In a statement on Monday morning, Minister of Home Affairs, Robeson Benn said: “there is no justification for these acts.”

The Minister in his statement said the investigations “must be complete and thorough,” but urged persons to desist from blocking the roads.

“There are reports of a resumption of blockages of roads and associated bridges on the West Coast Berbice Highway. This activity will not aid, but will surely hamper, the overriding issue of resolving this crime expeditiously. The efforts of some agitators will, also, have a similar effect and lead to a general breakdown in public safety and security,” the Minister said.

He said all residents of the local communities need to act in a manner that is lawful and helpful to the Police in aiding their work and in preserving the peace across and between all communities.

Benn added that the Ministry of Home Affairs will fully support all efforts to help the West Coast Berbice Communities through this difficult time.

Police have so far arrested a 57-year-old man who owns a nearby coconut farm and his handyman.

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