(Attached is the Deputy Mayor’s detailed account of her ordeal accompanied by an extract of Facebook exchanges between herself and the REO, illustrating his impropriety).
The Guyana Empowered Peoples Action Network (GEPAN) lends its full support to Maxine Ann Welch, Deputy Mayor of Lethem, in her combat for justice against Regional Executive Officer Carl Parker culpable of sexually abusing her.
After having been solicited to intervene on her behalf as a civil actor, we reiterate the following:
- That Maxine Welch has been the victim of sexual harassment at the work place in her position as Lethem Deputy Mayor and Councillor of Constituency 3 (voluntary);
- That she has been the victim of sexual harassment at the Yupukari Caiman Lodge (Region 9) where she was forced to share a room with the REO who proceeded to physically assault her;
- That she has solicited the intervention of authorities which included lodging a complaint with the Police and requesting the President of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana’s intervention;
- That her official pleas for help have gone unanswered;
- That she has suffered psychological and emotional abuse and break-down;
- That she has been forced to compromise her professional career;
- That she suffered a broken home due to Parker’s abuse.
In light of this report, we are demanding that the Minister of Communities Ronald Bulkan, as well as His Excellency President Granger, act immediately to suspend Carl Parker from the office of REO for Region 9 and to bring him before a court of Law so that he may answer for the allegations levelled against him.
We take this opportunity to remind His Excellency President Granger and Minister Bulkan, that Carl Parker is already the object of two other separate complaints reaching GEPAN and the media. The first concerns Sheharazade Atkinson, a District Education Officer who also suffered sexual harassment and discrimination at the work place. The second concerns a petition sent to President Granger in April 2016, produced and signed by twelve hundred (1200) Amerindians of Region 9 who demand that Carl Parker be removed based on fourteen (14) grounds of violations which include:
- Indigenous rights violations
- Sexual abuse
- Political discrimination against non-party members, supporters, partisans
- Discrimination at the work place
- Abuse of power and intimidation
We also remind His Excellency President Granger and Minister Bulkan that to date, no remedies have been proposed to bring justice for the petitioners and Ms. Atkinson. The only response is that of silence.
GEPAN condemns in the strongest terms possible these acts of aggression against the youth and women of our country by a public official and a political appointee, who is mandated to uphold the constitutional, civil and human rights of all Guyanese during the execution of his duties and his tenure as a political representative.
We condemn the refusal of the Minister of Communities to act with urgency from inception to restore integrity to the REO’s office and we implore His Excellency President Granger to take action now to resolve this anomaly which has been affecting the people of Region 9 for well over a year now.
GEPAN also calls on other stakeholders, including national and international civil actors, to provide their support to Maxine Ann Welch and all other women who were sexually abused by REO Carl Parker, as well as to the twelve hundred (1200) brave petitioners who dared to stand up for their rights.
Guyana Empowered Peoples’ Action Network (GEPAN)