Witness statements invited for Lindo massacre inquiry

The Commission of Inquiry (CoI) recently established to investigate the 2008 Lindo Creek massacre is inviting witnesses to submit statements.

In an advertisement published in yesterday’s edition of the Stabroek News, the Commission said that it has been established to investigate the circumstances surrounding the killing of Cecil Arokium, Dax Arokium, Horace Drakes, Bonny Harry, Lancelot Lee, Compton Speirs, Nigel Torres and Clifton Berry Wong at Lindo Creek on or about June 21st, 2008 and to report its findings and recommendations to President David Granger.

It states that the Commission is inviting witnesses, affected and/or interested persons to submit written statements or letters. Persons can also visit the Secretariat, located at the Department of Public Service, 164 Waterloo Street, North Cummingsburg to speak to members of the Commission. For further information, the Commission’s Secretariat can be contacted via telephone number 227-2292 or email address lindocoi@dps.gov.gy.

Retired Judge Donald Trotman, 79, who was sworn in to lead the Commission last Wednesday, had said the first witness could take the stand within two weeks’ time. The Commission is considering visiting the area where the men were killed.

This CoI is the first of what government has said would be a series of inquiries into the hundreds of killings which occurred during a crime wave that began in 2002.

Burnt human bones and skulls had been discovered on June 21st, 2008 by Leonard Arokium, owner of the Lindo Creek mining camp. DNA tests done in Jamaica several years later confirmed that the remains had belonged the miners, inclusive of Arokium’s son and his brother. The men were mining for diamonds at the location when they met their gruesome deaths. After the miners were slaughtered, their bodies and belongings were burnt. Although a large find had been reported at the camp, there was no trace of any diamonds when the remains were found.

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