Lindo Creek COI held public outreach in Meten-Meer-Zorg
DPI, Guyana, Thursday, March 22, 2018
The Commission of Inquiry (COI) into the Lindo Creek killings yesterday held an outreach in Meten-Meer-Zorg, the community where Compton Speirs, one of the victims once resided.This is the second of several outreaches slated to be held in the various communities the eight victims once resided 10 years ago. These are being held with the objective of soliciting and garnering feedback from the public and promoting the COI’s work.
This exercise was led by Chairman of the COI, Retired (retd) Judge, Donald Trotman, Research Assistant, Florence Bourne, Regional Information Officer, Ganesh Manipaul and Community Representative, Debra Trapp.
Addressing the family, friends, and other stakeholders, the Chairman assured them that he will not rest until the truth prevails. “Ten years is a long time, but we do not consider it too long.”
Retired Judge Trotman noted that the length of time has created some challenges to the investigation, however, “during the past month and a half or so… we have been getting quite a lot of information which is helping us to achieve one of our main objectives; which is getting to the truth.”
Family and friends of the deceased turned out in their numbers to the outreach and took the opportunity to thank the government for working to bring closure to the tragic incident.
A tearful Carmen Gittens, the late Compton Speirs’s eldest sister, said that she shared a close bond with her brother and wanted closure. Gittens stated, “when I get this news about my brother’s death, I said God what? I prefer if he had been sick and died but to get a cruel death like this… but, God is in control”.
Marlyn Solomon, the common-law wife of the late Speirs and mother to his only son, is hoping that she gets honest answers. “I trust that we get justice because my son was just nine years old and I struggled with him. He is 19 now and I do hope that we get justice for him because sometimes when he hears about these things he says – ‘look, I cannot make it’.”
Rhonda Fileen, one of the nieces of the late Speirs, described him as being more of a father figure since he assisted with her upbringing when she was just nine months old following the death of her parents. A sobbing Fileen could hardly speak as she fought to hold back her tears. She said “to find out a man come and say your uncle dead, I said ‘you mad’ he said no, your uncle dead, people killed him. I break down and then I called my aunt and tell my aunt that uncle dead because some people kill him. It was very hard and still is hard for our family, we grieving unto today.”
Fileen’s request to the Chairman was for the COI to provide truthful answers that will allow the grieving family members have some closure after “ten long agonizing years”.
The first outreach was held in the community of South Ruimveldt, where another of the victims, the late Dax Arokium, lived prior to his death.
By: Isaiah Braithwaite