US citizen beaten, robbed during WCB protest

– says now stranded without money

A family of three was on Tuesday evening attacked, beaten, terrorised and robbed while their car was almost set on fire during a protest at Hopetown over the brutal murder of 16-year-old Isaiah Henry and 19-year-old Joel Henry, whose mutilated bodies were found at Cotton Tree, West Coast Berbice (WCB).
The protests started at Number Five Village, WCB, from where the teens hail, and quickly spread to other villages.
However, one of the victims, who is a US citizen, claims that she and her family were relieved of $300,000, a cellphone and other items after the car in which they were travelling came under attack along the West Coast of Berbice.
As a result, commuters were forced to use a “backstreet” in the community to get through the village.
The US citizen told Guyana Times that as they were diverted to the back street by Police, they came face to face with a mob of protesters who were stopping and checking the vehicles as they passed.
“There were at least four or five vehicles in front of us and there were local people on bicycles. One man specifically was circling all the cars, and when we got to this very narrow piece on the road, the guys on the bicycle came and started going in to each car to see who was inside of the car… when they noticed that we were all Indians, they let all the other cars pass and we were stopped and started getting attacked,” she explained.
The woman said they were dragged out of the car and beaten. All of their items, including their US documents, were taken away. Out of fear, she and her family began to beg for their lives.
After begging and pleading for some time, they were allowed to go.
However, they were led right back into another group of men on a truck that was branded with the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) logo. They also started demanding that they hand over their belongings.
“They wanted to rob us more and we told them that guys from the back street already took whatever we had. We were pleading with them because we needed our stuff to go back to the US,” the woman said.
She was eventually able to recover her documents, but not her money or other items. She told this publication that she had only come to Guyana last week to conduct some business and have to return soon so that she can resume work.
The woman and her two relatives explained that after telling the men they had nothing, they were escorted out of the area by Guyana Defence Force (GDF) ranks and they were able to reach Georgetown by midnight on Tuesday.
They said during those hours, they were left hungry since they had no money to buy anything to eat. The family is now left stranded in Georgetown with no money to return home.
Since the escalation of the protests in West Coast Berbice, several persons were beaten and robbed, and vehicles set on fire.