More relatives testify at Lindo Creek’s CoI
DPI, GUYANA, Tuesday, March 6, 2018
The investigation into the Lindo Creek Massacre continued today at the Ministry of Public Service’s building, with more evidence from family members of two victims – Horace Drakes and Compton Speirs.
The Attorney for the Commission, Patrice Henry fielded questions from the witnesses who all revealed that they are all still seeking justice for their family members.
Aunt of Horace James, Natalie McDonald told the commission that she learnt about her nephew’s death while on her way to visit her aunt at the Georgetown Public Hospital back in June 2008.
“I heard the newspaper man said get the news, get the news, Lindo Creek Massacre, eight men die.”
McDonald said she later visited Drakes’ mother, who immediately made contact with a family member in the interior, who confirmed that her son had indeed died. She added that none of her family members was contacted by the police, neither had they attended any autopsy or funeral service. The family, however, held a memorial service at the Seventh-Day- Adventist Church, in Stewartville, West Coast of Demerara.
Compton Speirs’s sister, 80-year-old Carmen Gittens said she became the guardian of her brothers and sisters when their mother died back in 2001. She said the last time she saw her younger brother was a month prior to his death when he informed her that he was travelling into the interior to work. She said her family also never heard from the police.
Also appearing before the commission was Retired Detective, Carl Jacobs who was responsible for preparing the coroner’s order of the death of the miners. The commission heard that he was told by his superior to prepare the order for the miners that were murdered. However, nowhere in the order was it stated that the men were murdered, nor were they burnt. What is recorded is that the men died of shotgun injuries.
The retired detective said he never saw the remains, neither had he attend an autopsy of the burnt bodies.
Jacobs said it is a regular practice for at least one family member to witness the examination. However, in the case of the massacre victims, as far as he is aware, no family member attended the autopsy.
The CoI into the Lindo Creek Massacre is seeking to enquire into the circumstances surrounding the killings of Cecil Arokium, Dax Arokium, Horace Drakes, Bonny Harry, Lancelot Lee, Compton Speirs, Nigel Torres and Clifton Berry Wong, on or about the 21 June, 2008 and to report the findings and recommendations to President David Granger.
By: Alexis Rodney