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Guyanese Africans being murdered

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Time Zone: EST (New York, Toronto)
Messenger: Ark I Sent: 3/8/2004 4:28:38 PM


The following is from an email sent to I today.


Hackney Black Peoples Association

18 Stoke Newington Road, London N16 7XN

on Sunday 7 March 2004

This meeting was very well attended by Africans from South Africa, Nigeria, the Caribbean including Cuba and he UK. It was addressed by Ras Dr. Tom Dalgety.

The meeting adopted the following resolution.

That this meeting held in Solidarity with Africans in Guyana notes that:

Over 400 Guyanese Africans have been slaughtered in Guyana;

The Indians have introduced their racist Hindu practices into Guyanese society;

The DEATH SQUAD, known as the PHANTOM SQUAD, is led by Ronald Gajraj, the (Indian) Minister of Home Affairs;

Kean Gibson has studied and analysed the evil practices of Hindus and Hinduism in Guyana and has called for a separation of the races;

Similar practices exist in Trinidad and in Surinam;

The Hindu religion sanctions the slaughter of Africans.

We therefore call for the following:

For Africans in Guyana to organise to defend themselves against the criminal Phantom Death Squad led by Ronald Gajraj and any other political forces involved in the slaughter of Guyanese Africans;

For the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) to carry out an urgent investigation into the slaughter of Guyanese Africans that is led by Guyanese minister of Home Affairs Ronald Gajraj;

For the African Union to carry out a similar Inquiry;

We pledge our solidarity with Guyanese Africans and promise material and financial assistance to resist the murderous onslaught being carried by the Indians ruling in Guyana

We recommend that all Africans read Kean Gibson's book entitled: The Cycle of Racial Oppression in Guyana.

Ark I
Haile Selassie I

Messenger: Ark I Sent: 3/8/2004 4:29:29 PM

November 30, 2002

The Editor
Stabroek News
Lacytown, Georgetown

Dear Editor,

Even from jail, Mark Benschop continues to be daring.
He sent you a letter that caused two Editor’s Notes.
Letters from his wife Maria, Jonathon St Claire, and
now me are in the wake of his letter to you. St
Clair’s letter focused on your editing and he missed
the opportunity to make the point that Benschop dared
you to proxy for the PPP and the Andaiye, Hinds,
Kwayana faction of the WPA.

Stabroek News Editor’s Note of November 25, 2002 said,
“The extra judicial killings of primarily young
African men, but also members of the WPA, started long
before this government (PPP) came to power in 1992”.
So? Are you justifying the extra judicial killings of
the PPP/C government? The killings pre-1992 have
nothing to do with the 2002 killings! Also, any
killings prior to 1992 were not on the scale of the
present daily killings by the state and those fighting
the state.

The “death squad” of the African controlled government
prior to 1992 did not kill young African men like the
“black clothes” of the East Indian controlled
government after 1992 is killing young Africans (some
African women have been shot and killed). Why should
the East Indian controlled government kill young
African men and women? Who allows that? Is this the
conduct and values of a “democracy” state?

Benschop’s allegation (what a daring!) in Maria
Benschop’s letter to you (SN, 25-11-2002) and the
content of your Editor’s note gives me the opportunity
to point out that the killings this country
“inherited”, was the practice of the British and their
“black watch” – watch the Blacks. We have to study
British killings and what they did to Africans if the
present internal dialectics doesn’t lead us to
partition. Remember, partition first came on our
consciousness during the dialectics of British
controlled rule.

A week before Forbes Burnham died in 1985 he renamed
Murray Street as Quamina Street because Murray – a
British governor – was a “butcher”. He promised that
the next year he was going to rename Carmichael
Street. I was in that crowd at the corner of Quamina
and Carmichael Streets when Burnham proclaimed the
change. Also in that crowd was the artist Philip
Moore when it was pointed out that St George’s
Cathedral, which is a corner away at Carmichael Street
and North Road was a permanent scar that violates the
beliefs and spirit of Guyanese people. It was on that
occasion that I reasoned that Philip Moore had bunked
white Christianity for the local Jordanite faith!

Am I moving too fast? I need to in a letter. But
Mark Benchop’s daring (he is writing letters to the
Editor from prison) and your response opens the
opportunity to examine the spectrum of killings during
anti-colonial times, the struggle for independence,
socialism, and the “return to democracy”.

The killings during colonialism are found in the books
of Edgar Mittelholzer, particularly the Kawana
trilogy, and Morning at the Office. Martin Carter’s
“Poems of Resistance”, particularly the poem: “I
Clench My Fist” defined the struggle for Independence.
The video “Mutiny” featuring Guyanese World War 1
veteran soldier Gersom Browne portrays the court
martial and execution of West Indian soldiers who
mutinied when the British were re-colonising African
minds in a “detention camp” in Italy - long after the
First World War had ended. (I am told that the
British invented “concentration camps” in South Africa
during the Boer War). Behind the British soldiers and
police “watch Black people” was the church schools
e.g. St George’s Church of England School that
terrorized African, East Indian, and Amerindian
cultures and left many bewildered. For the era of
“socialism”, Philip Moore’s critique of cultural
terror is the 1763 Monument at Square of the
Revolution. Go, sit and do some reflection at the
foot of this magnificent monument.

In 1964, an advance class/group of Africans as the
“Peoples National Congress” took control of the
government. I borrow the phrase “advance class” from
CLR James. That class began to reorder the society on
the basis of “the small man shall be the real man”
and “not a man, woman nor child shall go to bed
hungry”. This African class called what they were
doing in government “socialism”. It was during the
rule of this class that the internationally famous
historian, and chief person of the WPA, Walter Rodney
was killed. He was 38 years old. When you write,
“young African men, but also members of the WPA”, were
killed prior to 1992 you in essence mean Walter Rodney
and some of his comrades.

Let me state what Race Today Collective – a London
group – said in 1983. They said, “much if not all the
responses sought to explain Walter’s assassination in
the following terms: “Burnham the evil demagogue
murdered Walter the good revolutionary”. While this
moral approach did little harm, it failed to analyse
the event in political terms”.

Let me quote from CLR James’s booklet: Walter Rodney
and the Question of Power. In the booklet is written,
“Walter did not study the taking of power. There are
three points necessary for the taking of power.
Firstly, there must be a clash – a revolutionary
upsurge of the people. Secondly, there must be a
turning point when the activity of the advanced ranks
is at its height. Thirdly, the enemy must be
vacillating. Walter did not know that, and Walter was

According to CLR James “Walter did not wait for the
revolutionary people and the revolutionary class to be
in conflict with the government. The working class had
no temper for change. Also, Walter was wrong to
depend on the knowledge of Marxism to seize power.
The knowledge you need is the knowledge that someone
is waiting to destroy you. Walter did not do that and
that is why Walter found himself in a car with a
member of Burnham’s army (sic) making some arrangement
about some gadget that turned out to be an explosive”.

I have written previously that Dr. Walter Rodney was a
magnificent emissary for us to Africa and a great
historian, but an awful politician. He may take some
responsibility for the activities of the ‘death

In 1992, a class/group of East Indians as the “Peoples
Progressive Party” assumed power. They proclaimed “a
return to democracy” and the practice of capitalism.
Their “black clothes” terror is go-between, between
them and the African people (SN May 16, 2002 – The
Black Clothes Police are acting on behalf of the
Government). I haven’t read a report that a member of
the Chinese, Portuguese, Amerindian or White race
being killed by the Black Clothes.

Who are getting suddenly rich? Not the Black
businessmen, but individual East Indians. Africans
are feeling oppression and imposition. It is East
Indian businessmen that are protected by the “black
clothes” guns (SN May 16, 2002 – The Black Clothes
Police are acting on behalf of the Government).
Democracy here means an avalanche of murders to
protect capital. Since Eric Williams in his famous
book Capitalism and Slavery pointed out that
capitalism develops racism, in a two-race society the
inner dialectic will automatically lead to civil war
and partition. Hence the “black clothes” post-1992
may lead us to civil war and partition.

The “black clothes” police who kill for the social
classes that control the PPP/C government had an
agenda that reached a defining moment on February 23,
2002. The jailbreak five (Douglas, More, and Fraser
are now dead) made this a “transition point”. In
natural science, transition point is the temperature
at which one form of a polymorphous substance changes
into another. After the jailbreak of February 23rd
2002 firstly, retaliation against extra judicial
killings began; secondly, the retail business
community of PPP/C supporters shut down their shops
for three days all over the country as a political
anti-government act; and thirdly, the Mark Benschop
Show comes from the Georgetown jail. What an

The Lion of Judah shall break every chain and give us
victory again and again.

Ras Tom Dalgety

Messenger: Ark I Sent: 3/8/2004 4:29:56 PM


By The People’s National Congress ReformTo The Press Conference on Thursday, March 4, 2004 Hall of Heroes, Congress Place, Sophia.


PNCR expresses condolences to the family and relatives of Professor Dennis Craig.

The PNCR remains steadfast in its determination to salvage Guyana from this state of lunacy.
The results of the census or any analysis thereof are, in our view, of national importance and should be in the public domain as soon as they are available.
The PNCR is reliably informed that Bharrat Jagdeo personally intervened to craft a strategy of diversion and obfuscation to shift focus away from these internal crises, and to try to improve his own and his government’s international standing.
The PNCR wishes to place on record its commendation for recent acts of bravery of members of the Police Force.


News of the death of Professor Dennis Craig was received with shock and sorrow by the entire leadership of our Party. Professor Craig was indeed a fine Guyanese gentleman, a committed regionalist and intellectual giant. His multi-faceted contributions as a Caribbean scholar and educator will remain his enduring legacy. His service to Guyana in the field of education and more particularly in Policy Development is legendary climaxing as it did with his services as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Guyana. We wish to convey to his sorrowing wife, children and other relatives our sincere sympathy and pray that they will be comforted in the knowledge that his life was an example worthy of emulation.


Recent disclosures and newspaper reports confirm the PNCR’s position that (i) the Guyana Police Force cannot be entrusted with the responsibility of conducting an impartial investigation into state-sponsored terrorism, (ii) if citizens are to come forward with information on the activities of death squads, they need to be guaranteed protection, and (iii) members of the death squad are part and parcel of the very nefarious activities of those who were said to be their main targets.1.1. Guyana Police Force (GPF) cannot be entrusted with the responsibility of conducting a thorough investigation into state-sponsored terrorism

When it was substantiated that the government was a sponsor of the death squads, it was not on rash impulse that the PNCR called specifically for an impartial and independent inquiry. It was not an oversight that we did not suggest the police to be responsible for such an investigation. For the PNCR was aware of several facts. Firstly, some members of the Guyana Police Force work in association with members of the death squad in such activities as contract killing and narco-trafficking. Indeed, it was not based on guesswork that the US State Department concluded in its 2003 report on Guyana that there exists widespread corruption of law enforcement officers. Moreover, Guyanese can judge for themselves what prompted the US government to revoke recently the visas of five senior police officers.

The second fact informing the PNCR’s position is that the police have failed to act in the past on the information provided them by relatives and eye witnesses. These citizens have provided the police with specific information as regards identities of persons and vehicles, times and locations of incidents, and recounts of conversations. For instance, an article in last Sunday’s Stabroek News on the September 2003 killing of the "Pattensen duo", Clive Mclean and Clive Savory, highlighted the fact that the police did receive several eyewitness accounts of incidents prior to, during and after the kidnapping and murder of the two men, but did nothing.

As reported in SN of March 1st, the new Police Commissioner, to his credit, has also recognized that the police force should have no role in an inquiry into the death squad, given the public perception of police involvement.

It is the view of the PNCR that the new commissioner should mount an internal audit of the police force’s responses (or lack thereof) to the numerous eyewitness accounts and other evidence on execution-style killings over the last several years.1.2. Protection of citizens who may wish to volunteer information on the activities of death squads.

Most Guyanese were outraged but were not surprised over the fact that Ms Pam Fletcher, the mother of Victor Bourne, a victim of the death squad, received telephone threats after her interview appeared in the Sunday Stabroek News of 22nd February. Ms Fletcher, in seeking justice for the killing of her son, had decided to tell the media what she knew of her son’s activities just before he was murdered. The PNCR has been able to confirm that Ms Fletcher received several telephone calls from persons promising to seriously harm her should she continue to speak out. The PNCR applauds the courage and determination of Ms Fletcher, but we call on the police to diligently pursue this matter with a view to bringing the perpetrators to justice. Our party is monitoring the situation closely.

This incident only supports the PNCR position that if the government was serious about encouraging citizens to come forward with information, it should provide protection for them. The truth of the matter is, of course, that the PPP/C does not want anyone to step forward with such information, since it fears the total exposure of its criminal network -- a network that is involved in kidnappings, murder, extortion, and drug-trafficking.

It is none the less evident that enough information already exists for an investigation to be launched. That the government is still pussyfooting on the issue only hardens the public resolve to ensure that the PPP/C does not escape with impunity. 1.3. Members of the death squad are part and parcel of the very nefarious activities of those who were said to be their main targets

The reported association between known criminal suspect, Mark "Big Batty" Phillips, and members of the death squad confirms that both groups at times worked in consort and supported each other. It also raises the question: how involved were the members of the death squad in the crime wave before they were recruited by Gajraj? The PNCR is not surprised by the reports of this unholy alliance between criminals and hired killers. They were cut from the same cloth. The demise of the prison escapees and others has only served to give the members of the death squad more turf to carry out their own criminal agenda. Already, there is an emerging resurgence in violent robberies, kidnappings and drive-by shootings. The disturbing new feature, however, is that several of the perpetrators have state protection.

But there is a further dangerous factor we must emphasise. Our Police Force, already plagued with a milliard of shortcomings, is now placed in a state of further disorder that should it receive a report of an on-going crime, it may not respond on the assumption that the crime in progress may involve Gajraj’s boys. In such circumstances who among us can claim to be safe?

The PNCR remains steadfast in its determination to salvage Guyana from this state of lunacy. We intend to up the ante of our protests in the coming weeks. Failure to remove Gajraj so as to facilitate an independent inquiry and to uproot the scourge of death squads from our midst is not an option. We must succeed. And we will.


The PNCR notes that the preliminary results of the 2003 Census have not been made public. Indeed, it is our understanding that this information has not even been tabled or discussed at the board of the Guyana Bureau of Statistics. We do not accept the assumption that the results of the census and the analysis of the results are a political matter or one in the preserve of the government’s discretion. The results of the census or any analysis thereof are, in our view, of national importance and should be in the public domain as soon as they are available. The manoeuvrings of the government have given rise to public speculation and suspicion that it is up to mischief. We will keep this matter under scrutiny.


Within the last few weeks the nation has seen a flurry of diplomatic and related activity emanating from the Office of the President. First there was the sudden visit by President Chavez of Venezuela, then the revelation of the existence of a secret maritime treaty entered into with Barbados in December, 2003, and finally the latest frenzy generated by the government’s decision to take the matter of Suriname’s objection to the exploitation of resources to the United Nations Commission for the Law of the Sea for settlement. The PNCR has said before and will say again that these latest manoeuvers by the Jagdeo government are a desperate and futile attempt at diverting the citizens’ attention from the internal crises posed by the revelations of the existence of state-sponsored death squads and by the collapsing economy. The party is reliably informed that Bharrat Jagdeo personally intervened to craft a strategy of diversion and obfuscation in order to shift focus away from these
internal crises, and to try to improve his own and his government’s international standing.

The most recent decision regarding Suriname’s objections to our exploration for marine resources is nothing new and was decided upon early in 2003. Moreover, the Leader of the Opposition, Mr. Robert H. O. Corbin, was briefed by the government on this matter since then. Yet the regime last week sought to present a picture of an emerging crisis on our Eastern border and even went as far as seeking to inveigle the military to stage exercises in the Corentyne area. These actions could only have had the effect of provoking unpredictable military responses from Suriname. The PNCR is of the considered opinion that the decision to take the territorial dispute with Suriname to arbitration was inevitable having regard to the prolonged stalemate in the talks that ensued following the June 2000 ejection of the CGX rig. However, the Party is also of the opinion that the matter could have been managed without cavalier ship and more in the sprit of good neighbourliness. We may have lost a golden
opportunity, notwithstanding the decision to go to arbitration, to convince the Suriname government that such an action would be in our joint interest. The PNCR calls on the government to resist any further acts of brinkmanship.

We support the decision to move to international arbitration. But we call on the Guyanese people not to be fooled by any suggestion that there exists a new border crisis with Suriname. We warn that Bharrat Jagdeo’s dangerous games of brinkmanship with the Guyana/Suriname border issue can boomerang and cause untold harm to Guyana in the future.


Even as the Commissioner of Police and his ranks are coming to grips with the causes and effects of the madness which saw several dedicated officers and ranks losing their lives and being injured in the line of duty; the March 1 tragedy has come as a grim reminder of the ever present danger to which members of the force are exposed. The PNCR wishes to use this opportunity to once again extend our heart felt sympathy to the Griffith and Latchana families in their time of bereavement.

At the same time the PNCR wishes to place on record its commendation for the recent act of bravery by members of the force. We were particularly impressed that quick thinking and immediate action undertaken by members of the police force on Thursday, February 26 last foiled the kidnapping of Narissa Persaud, a student of a city school. The party hopes that this show of bravery and professionalism will inspire the entire force to new levels of commitment to its credo of service and protection of the people of Guyana. People’s National Congress Reform

Congress Place, Sophia,

Georgetown, Guyana.

Thursday, March 4, 2004

Messenger: Ark I Sent: 3/8/2004 4:30:25 PM

Body of evidence on death squad

Sunday, March 7th 2004

Although the government remains unmoved on the question of a death squad investigation, evidence continues to implicate suspects in several unsolved murders over the last two years.

Allegations about a death squad first gained momentum after the murder of suspected member, Axel Williams. He was killed in December in a manner that was eerily similar to many of the killings that have been credited to him and his gang - in a carefully planned hit involving several accomplices. No one has ever been arrested.

Since his death Williams has been linked to at least ten murders, including the killings of Othniel Embrack, Andrew McPherson, Derrick Torrington, Oliver Springer and another man who was identified only as `Buckman,' who were all killed on the night of November 4, 2002. Williams was also said to be one of the men behind the deaths of Lloyd Bourne, Sherwin Manohar, Clive McLean and Clive Savoury, who were all killed last year in incidents which while separate, were similar in methodology: in the plain sight of witnesses each of the men was abducted. They were killed and their bodies dumped on a deserted roadway on the East Coast Demerara.

Williams had by then already killed food vendor Rodwell Ogle, whom he shot in the presence of witnesses on August 8, 2002, after a row over twenty dollars. Ogle died in hospital two weeks later, but not until after he gave a statement to the police who were also given statements by the eyewitnesses.

An officer of the Chambers of the Director of Public Prosecutions recommended that the police charge Williams for Ogle's murder in September. But the direction was amended on the same day and it was recommended that a Coroners' Inquest be held instead.

Williams's firearm was returned to him and an inquest was never held.

There was no record of the amendment in the files of the Chambers, only on the police case file, which showed that an inquest was ordered.

And Axel Williams was approved for an upgraded firearm licence authorised by former acting police commissioner Floyd McDonald. When asked about it recently he said that after three decades in the police force he did not deserve to be harassed.

Home Minister Ronald Gajraj told reporters that he could not recall instructing the police commissioner to approve the upgrade. But it was later revealed that he had written his approval on the top of Williams's application letter.

Gajraj has admitted that he once knew Williams and told reporters that Williams visited him several times at the ministry.

"As a matter of fact, at the time he had some problem. He used to be a taxi driver and he had made an application for a licensed firearm... and as far as I am aware his application was processed... and approval for a licence was issued to him. To the best of my knowledge, he was a licensed firearm holder..." Gajraj said of Williams at a press conference on December 19.

Telephone records show Williams had been calling the minister's house and the Ministry of Home Affairs. Gajraj did not divulge the details of the conversations, citing national security reasons.

More evidence of a death squad surfaced with George Bacchus.

Bacchus claims he was once an informant for the group for which he used his own money to locate criminals who were then murdered in well-planned executions.

In statements he made to the local media and officers of the United States Embassy, he said the gang was formed to hunt down criminals who had escaped from the Camp Street Prison on February 23, 2002.

The inability of the police force assisted by the Guyana Defence Force to contain the criminals resulted in several calls for Gajraj's resignation.

Bacchus identified Axel Williams as a key member of the group responsible for many of the killings. Aside from naming Williams he also named Gajraj, who he said provided the group with tactical support. Businessmen and senior policemen were also implicated.

Although Gajraj has dismissed the allegations, he has not denied knowing Bacchus who said he had visited the minister's office and his home on numerous occasions. Bacchus also said he had telephone contact with the minister, whom he phoned on the night that his brother was killed, the event that prompted his disclosures.

Bacchus believed that he was the intended target of the execution. Based on the information he gave to the police three people, Ashton King, Shawn Hinds and Mark Thomas, were arrested and charged with his brother's murder. Thomas mysteriously died in hospital almost two weeks later.

Gajraj has confirmed that he was telephoned twice by Bacchus on the night his brother was killed and says he was asked to investigate the shooting. But he said his contact with Bacchus, as in the case of Williams, was solely in his capacity as a minister. He noted the importance of getting information from the people who possess it and pointed out that the police force did have a problem with confidentiality.

"Even George Bacchus has said he did not want to go and talk to the police for whatever reason, so there are people who have criminal records who might be in contact with me for the purpose of information.

"And there are others as well who would have been from all walks of life that might have been in contact with me. Not in contact with me as Ronald Gajraj, but because I am Minister of Home Affairs," he told the BBC Caribbean Report.

Bacchus, who has not been available for comment for some weeks, has communicated his desire to keep a low profile for fear for his life.

Meanwhile, since Williams's death and the public disclosures by Bacchus, more people have come forward with information about the killings.

One witness recalls seeing a man beating his handcuffed fists against the glass window of a car that Axel Williams was driving.

His body was found dumped a few hours later.

Messenger: Ark I Sent: 3/8/2004 4:30:40 PM



The statutory meeting of Region No. 3 was aborted today after Regional Chairman Esau Dokie refused to entertain a motion to suspend the standing order’s to allow a citizen to raise matters of urgent public importance, including the Gajraj affair. After the adjournment, the PPP/C councilors convened a meeting in the Chairman’s office during which the Regional Chairman sent a message to the Opposition councilors informing them that the day’s proceedings had been aborted, to be reconvened at some other date to be determined. When approached, the Chairman refused to reconvene the meeting to formally announce an adjournment to another date.

The PNCR is concerned over this development since on previous occasions members of the public, at the instigation of the PPP/C, were entertained by the RDC to raise matters said to be of urgent public importance. The PNCR is also concerned that the action of the Regional Chairman was influenced by the simultaneous energetic picket mounted by concerned citizens calling for investigations into the Gajraj Affair and corruption in the Region No. 3 Administration.

People’s National Congress Reform

Congress Place, Sophia,

Georgetown, Guyana.

Thursday, March 4, 2004

Messenger: mdjonas Sent: 3/8/2004 4:55:07 PM

All the death squad members are what you call black people. Gajraj is what is called Indian. He is a politician. Those who do the killings are "black".
About talking to those politicians, it has been tried for a long time. They cannot be reasoned with, because they do not live in the real world where reasons make sense. Only power can overthrow what these politicians are doing. It is the same with the "black" police officers who perpetrate the killings. They will not listen to reason, but only power.
It is good to organize political movements, and rally the people. But we must realize that rallying the people is not about reasoning with those who are in power, it is about gathering together a greater power than the one they have. It is good to get international spotlight on this situation because then the misleaders will be forced to go against their inclinations and do good for the people. This is the power we have. Do not ever confuse this power with the concept of reasoning with reasonable people. It is a totally different situation.
AS HIM said, you cannot reason with those who refuse to reason. These poeple refuse to reason, so they must be dealt with forcefully. This goes for Guyana and the whole world also.

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