Killings Reignite Racial Tensions in Guyana »

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Mr. Ali, South America’s first Muslim head of state, tried to defuse tensions this week by interesting for unity, pledging justice and in search of outdoors assist. But when he tried to go to the households of the primary two victims on Tuesday, an Army-escorted convoy despatched forward was turned again after being blocked and heckled by protesters.

His presidential opponent, Mr. Granger, who had reluctantly conceded to Mr. Ali final month underneath worldwide strain, has backed the protesters.

“We have to establish some self-defense in our society to protect our children, protect our women, our young people,” Mr. Granger, a former Army Brigadier, instructed reporters this week after visiting the households of the primary two victims, Isaiah Henry, 16, and Joel Henry, 17. “Unless we protect ourselves, nobody is going to protect us.”

Guyana’s Black and Indo-Guyanese communities every level to a historical past of persecution — a legacy of slavery and compelled labor in the previous British sugar colony — to justify their mutual worry.

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