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Sunday, April 23, 2006

42 murders in three months…

24 execution-style killings, few solved

More then half of the people who were murdered in Guyana this year were victims of execution-style killings, and few of these cases have been solved.

Statistics compiled by Kaieteur News show that between January and April 22 this year 42 people have been murdered in Guyana . Twenty-four of the victims were gunned down execution-style.

The statistics show that police have charged very few suspects in connection with this category of murder. But these officials say they have ballistic and other evidence which have given them an idea who some of the killers are.

Killings of this nature occurred mainly in central and Greater Georgetown , and on the East Bank of Demerara.

The statistics also show that 11 people were killed during altercations (one man was stabbed to death during a domestic dispute), while seven were slain by bandits.

Kaieteur News statistics showed that only nine of the 42 murder cases have been solved. Almost invariably the arrests occurred when the suspects were immediately identified.

The pattern of brutal killings began on January 30 when gunmen riddled television personality Ronald Waddell with bullets just as he was about to drive into his Subryanville home.

Six days later taxi driver Christopher St. Hill, called ‘Ninety', was found lying in his car just off the Turkeyen Public Road, East Coast Demerara. He had been shot in the head and other parts of the body.

Then on February 26, a small army of gunmen, operating with military precision, slaughtered eight people in Eccles and Agricola.

Among the killed were an elderly couple, who were shot and then burnt in their beds, and 32-year-old City Hall Assistant Town Clerk Laverne Garraway-Scott, who was shot in her Third Street , Agricola residence and then set alight.

On March 12, Devon Cambridge, an 18-year-old from Mc Doom, East Bank Demerara, was found in a trench in D'Urban Backlands. His hands were bound behind his back and his body bore several gunshot wounds .

Six days later a group of gunmen, believed to be from the same gang which orchestrated the Agricola/Eccles massacre, stormed a house at Mc Doom. When they finally left, 12-year-old Kevin Brown lay dead from a shotgun blast to the abdomen, while his mother was shot in her upper left side.

Also in April, SA Nabi and Sons Managing Director Ashim Sheer Mohamed was shot dead by a lone gunman in a car. At the time, Sheer Mohamed sitting in his pickup, which was parked in the North Ruimveldt Multilateral School compound.

And yesterday, when it seemed that things could not get any worse, a group of gunmen executed Minister of Agriculture Satyadeow Sawh, his brother, Rajpat Rai, a sister, Phulmattie Persaud, and a security guard.

Relatives of those slain in execution-style killings say they have little optimism that the perpetrators would be brought to justice. Some of them, like Bonita Harris, believe that the police lack the will to tackle crimes of this magnitude.

Relatives of other victims admit that they know the perpetrators, but are too fearful to contact the police.

Police on the other hand blame the lack of resources, compounded by their inability to persuade people to identify suspects.

“People don't come forward. They are fearful as to who is next. I hope that the Crime Stoppers Programme will materalise.”

Kaieteur News