COI into 2002-2003 crime wave will be conducted – GS Jagdeo affirms

Peoples Progressive Party’s (PPP) General Secretary Dr Bharrat Jagdeo said the government will be conducting a Commission of Inquiry (COI) into the various killings during the crime wave that started in 2002 until 2003.

He voiced the government’s position in response to media operatives who questioned the government’s willingness to conduct a COI, as recommended by the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Commission (HRC).

Peoples Progressive Party’s (PPP) General Secretary Dr Bharrat Jagdeo

“The government will be going ahead with the COI because the UN wants it; Granger wanted it and I hope that there will be no prevarication anymore. There shall be a COI,” Dr Jagdeo stated during a press conference on Thursday.

In 2018, the coalition administration under Former President David Granger promised that a COI would be appointed to investigate the circumstances of the crime wave.  “Society has been scarred by violence, which left a lingering legacy of distrust with the potential of fresh disorder. Monuments at Bartica, Buxton and Eve Leary have been erected for the victims of violence during the ‘troubles’ between 2002 and 2009. We still have an obligation to investigate those troubles and ensure that the culprits are brought to justice,” he was quoted as saying while noting that there were allegedly 1,431 murders in that period. Mr. Granger had said too that his administration would have ensured that the perpetrators are brought to justice.

Further, former APNU/AFC Minister of State Joseph Harmon had said after that the COI Granger spoke about would start working, “before the end of the week,” in 2018. While he did not give a definitive makeup of the commission, he did inform it would comprise as many as three persons and a judge would be among the members.  “When the president says something, he means it,” Harmon stressed while noting that getting information is not an issue” Harmon said boldly back in 2018.

However, this did not happen and he did nothing.

Following the February 23rd, 2002 Camp Street prison jailbreak, there was an unprecedented crime wave, with armed robberies and murders, including hits on police, reaching unprecedented levels across the country.

According to Dr Jagdeo, he believes that it was discarded for several reasons

“They knew: one, it would show that no 400 young afro-Guyanese kids were killed; and two, that they were complacent…that promise was made in one of their submissions to the UN in 2018. We now ask, where is this inquiry? he questioned.

The general secretary noted that the COI will only establish what has been in the police records, “That APNU was complacent, first of all, the lies that they talked about 1400 people killed, then they got it reduced to 400,” he expounded.

Moreover, Dr Jagdeo noted that the COI will also link prominent figures from the PNC-led opposition, who were allegedly supplying materials and equipment to the gangs responsible for the crime wave.

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