Report on Lindo Creek CoI handed over to President

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Retired Justice Donald Trotman hands over the report to President David Granger on Wednesday

The completed report for the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into the June 2008 Lindo Creek Massacre recommends, among other things, that compensation be given to the families of the eight murdered miners.

This is according to Retired Justice Donald Trotman, who headed the CoI report which commenced earlier this year to President David Granger at State House, Main Street, Georgetown.

The lone commissioner reasoned that the compensation to the families are necessary since they would have faced economic challenges since the death of their loved ones.

Meanwhile, Granger stated that it is the intention of his Government for Guyanese to live in a society without brutality.

To this end, he asserted that the CoI will continue into other past massacres- which he termed as “troubles”- as the Administration is committed to ascertaining the intellectual authors of the various killings.

Almost 10 years after the eight miners were killed, the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into the Lindo Creek Massacre, which has been dubbed a “kangaroo commission” commenced in February. Trotman, 80, is the lone commissioner selected by Granger to oversee the CoI.

The Commissioner had said that the main objective of the CoI was to find the truth and to bring healing and closure to the nation as a whole.

 He expressed hope that the Lindo Creek and other inquiries would help bring about reconciliation among Guyanese. President Granger had described Lindo Creek as a “massacre of the innocence”, saying that his Government believed the way the investigation was handled indicated that there was a high level of collusion.

 He had also rejected suggestions to extend the CoI’s focus to several years before 2008 when other major criminal activities had plagued the country.

Some time between June 12, 2008 and June 24, 2008, miners Cecil Arokium, Dax Arokium, Compton Speirs, Horace Drakes, Clifton Wong, Lancelot Lee, Bonny Harry and Nigel Torres were shot and killed, and their bodies burnt at the Upper Berbice River mining camp which was being operated by Leonard Arokium. 

This is just one of the reasons why the People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) has expressed skepticism about participating and supporting the work of the Commission as the Party believes that given the manner in which the CoI was dragged, constituted and the commentary from senior Government officials, it is designed to achieve a political outcome and continue the Government’s programme of witch-hunting Opposition personalities.

The PPP/C has even said that the inquiry should have started from the period 1998 when the real wave of ethno-political violence commenced, which would assist in addressing the root cause of the violence. 

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