Archive for January 26th, 2008

January 26, 2008

Horror in Guyana

Today was dominated by the horrific murders that took place in Guyana. Yes, it was , of course, our main news story but it also affected us all on a very personal level. It is not hard to imagine that T&T could descend into that sort of morass of crime and lawlessness fairly easily as well. That is not even to mention the shock of knowing that 11 people including 5 children were brutally killed while resting in their homes.


For those not familiar with the story, it might be best to just excerpt from Agence France-Presse:


“Gunmen with assault rifles shot and killed 11 people in a Guyana village early Saturday, in an attack police blamed on a criminal gang whose leader has threatened widespread violence.

Protests erupted after the shootings, as thousands of people faced off with police and soldiers and set fire to tires on a major thoroughfare, raising concerns of further violence and ethnic tensions.

At least five of the victims were children, said Divisional Police Commander Leroy Brummel. Three survivors were hospitalized with gunshot wounds.”


it seems the heinous act was committed for an even stranger reason:


“The attacks followed reports of telephone threats by Rondell Rawlins, said to head a gang of some 20 heavily armed black men he organized after breaking out of prison in 2002.

Rawlins reportedly threatened widespread violence after the disappearance of his pregnant common-law wife, which he blames on police.

Police say Rawlins is responsible for a series of murders, robberies and kidnappings in the past years, including the slaying of an agriculture minister in 2006 and the abduction of a US diplomat in 2003.”


Melissa Williams was on the story from the moment she came in  and despite us being unable to get the President of Guyana on his mobile she managed to get exclusive colour pictures of the victims as them lay dead in their homes. This led us to an interesting dilemma. Do we withhold the gruesome evidence of the scene, do we show it but blur it or do we actually show it raw to the public? After careful decision we decided ( well i guess I had the final word) that we needed to show the true horror of what went on. We are almost inured to crime as a society and having it happen in Guyana  made it even less real. By showing the shots of dead children and parents the real horror was so in your face the public would understand how awful a situation it was. I am comfortable with that decision but why our editors used the same short clips of Georgetown to cover the rest of the story rather than the ton of footage they had available and why they did not show the protest pictures ( one of which is in this entry) I do not know. I watched the newscast as Melissa read and was somewhat annoyed that the story was weakened by the use of repeating file footage shots of downtown when I know we have footage of President Jagdeo ( after all Steve and I were there shooting it)  and today’s still shots of the protest. I will have to bring that up with the editors tomorrow. Both Melissa and I were not happy with that situation as we spoke when i dropped her downtown after the news.


Other than that not much to report today. Chatted with Alvin, Binky, Robin, Omar, Astrid and others who shall remain nameless for the moment. There was some idle chit chat that suggested Iggy would pop over to my place with Nicole this evening but the poor thing was not feeling well despite my clever purchase of a bottle of Shiraz to amuse her. So Iggy is in bed now, Grommit is in South at a birthday party, Alvin and Binky are probably drinking and dancing somwehere, Robin is in his four poster bed snoring and I am home blogging…all is normal in the world.


Oh great i just too the “how straight are you” test for guys on Facebook because I saw that Binky too it and I have now been informed that I am straighter than 0% of my friends…it isn’t my fault I moisturize every day and use an undereye cream!!! Dammit.