An Examination of Murder and Suicide in Guyana

Paulette Andrea Henry

Abstract


In addition to being remembered in what became known as the “Jonestown Massacre,” where more than 900 members of an American cult died in a mass suicide-murder under the direction of their leader in 1978, Guyana continues to receive global and local attention for the prevalence in suicide. The 2014 WHO report named Guyana as the country with the highest suicide rate per capita globally with recent suicide statistics showing 272 reports over a thirty-month period.
Recently, the incidence of murder suicide has gained a lot of media attention, and seems to be linked to “crimes of passion” or intimate partner conflict, with men very often being the perpetrators. Particularly, East Indian men and young men are more prone to commit suicide, Through the analysis of both police and media reports and other literature, this study uses mixed methodologies in analyzing the number of murder -suicide over the last five years, characteristics of the perpetrators inclusive of ethnicity, relationships between killers and victims and the method used in the deaths in Guyana. The study paves the way for more in-depth analysis of the phenomenon. Finally, the paper concludes with a presentation of its findings and possible recommendations.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/iss.v4i1.8892

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