The shooting of Commissioner of Insurance, Ms Maria van Beek, yesterday morning marked a new low point in our downward slide towards a nihilistic society. From police reports it is clear that this was no random robbery attempt; the gunmen used a motorcycle, and made no effort to try and steal anything. One of them simply fired a shot and then they both made good their escape. It is a sign of the levels to which we have sunk that their target was a civil servant who had been appointed by the court to discharge the functions of Judicial Manager of Clico (Guyana).
Ms van Beek’s name until recently probably would not have been recognized by the vast majority of Guyanese; she was just a conscientious official working in the background with little or no public profile. It was with the collapse of Clico that she became a household name, and while it is still too early to speculate on who the perpetrators were, it is reasonable to surmise that the attempt on her life had some connection to the events surrounding the collapse of that ill-managed entity.
And now everyone has become acutely aware of just how dangerous this society has become. In a general way citizens have been conscious for a long time that potentially they could become the victims of armed robbers, or find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time; but the deliberate targeting of a public servant who was simply trying to carry out her duties has taken us into a new dimension.
If there is one case that the Guyana Police Force needs to show some energy on, then this is it. For the sake of Ms van Beek and her family, and for the sake of society at large, this case must be solved. For its part the government should ensure that any resources needed by law enforcement to assist in their investigations, are provided expeditiously.We cannot afford to allow this particular crime to join the long list of cold cases which the police will never clear up.