Justice for Leonard Archibald

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Leonard Archibald was sodomized and killed by a serial rapist and his accomplice in Sisters Village, Berbice, Guyana. This child would be alive today had these rapists been arrested for previously reported sex crimes against children. After coming out of hiding, the Guyanese police did not arrest these heinous perpetrators. Consequently, providing them the opportunity to commit this barbarous act against an innocent child, taking his young, promising life.

We demand that this case is sent to the High Court in Georgetown Guyana as to ensure transparency and rebuild trust in Guyana's judicial system. The community feels betrayed and has lost confidence in the police department because previous reports made were blatantly ignored for whatever reasons.

An independent body must be instituted to investigate complaints regarding police dereliction of duties, such as not responding to calls or following through with charges about child sexual abuse. Law enforcement officials in rural areas are in need of intense and ongoing training to contend with cases of child sexual abuse and its devastating effects on victims -- individuals, families and communities; as this phenomenon can adversely affect the victimized child throughout his/her lifespan.

Undeniably, there is also a sense of powerlessness amidst many communities in Guyana, especially in the country, and there must be efforts made to re-sensitized said collectives; Sisters Village residents, for instance, no longer function as their brother's and sister's keeper. Duly, mechanisms are needed to guarantee these latent and continuing feelings of hopelessness are a thing of the past.

The Guyana Police Force must implement and enforce a sexual abuse unit with trained and qualified personnel specializing exclusively in issues of child sexual abuse. The Child Sexual Abuse Unit must solely be responsible for the oversight and handling of all reported cases of child sexual offences regardless of geographical location, socio-economic status, political orientation, or any other variable.

Furthermore, Leonard Archibald's case illustrates that Guyanese demand greater fair and impartial juries ensuring justice as many victims of the alleged perpetrators bemoaned that they were afraid of coming forth because the assailants were bribing key individuals.

We demand that laws and policies be enacted for an anti-child sexual abuse bill called the "Archibald's Law," memorializing and immortalizing the beloved Leonard Archibald!



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