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Shawn Hinds’ ‘death squad’ revelation confirms government crime ‘intellectual author’ claims-Harmon

Minister of State, Joseph Harmon.

by Zena Henry

The government feels somewhat vindicated in its claims that certain occurrences relating to crime are the work of ‘intellectual authors.’

That was the notion of Minister of State Joseph Harmon as he weighed in on the now viral interview of Shawn Hinds who recently confessed that he was part of a ‘death squad.’

A death squad carried out extra judicial killings during the dreaded crime wave that had gripped the country in the early 2000s under the People’s Progressive Party (PPP) government. Hinds was less than two months ago the PPP-appointed Town Clerk Carol Sooba’s body guard. He was part of security detail for PPP members and had a close relation with the party in terms of security services.

Given his recent confession, Harmon said at the post-cabinet briefing held on Wednesday’s July 22 C that Hinds’ revelations were ‘very interesting’ particularly because of its implications. He reminded that two weeks ago while addressing the current spike in crime he spoke of intellectual authors.

“Mr. Hinds’ revelations…fit into the mould that says that there are intellectual authors of crime…and as Mr. Hinds said to you we have some linkages higher up…,” Harmon stated. Again he did not name any specific person or organization relating to the ‘intellectual authors” claim except to say that Hinds was part of the security detail for a Prime Ministerial candidate- that did not belong to the APNU or the AFC.

The last time Harmon spoke of intellectual authors, PPP General Secretary Clement Rohee said that the government would have to prove that PPP members were involved. He said, “I saw Harmon speak to something like that and I was rather taken aback…because he has to provide the evidence.” “I heard them make mention of intellectual authors and they know who are behind these things creating a scenario that they are politically inspired.”“…let them provide evidence that any member of the PPP leadership or otherwise is part of this.”

However, Hinds’ relations might just be the opening for this evidence since not only has he spilled the beans on being part of a death squad, but he is now suggesting that the police question specifically, two PPP activists who might be involved in the alleged political killing of activist, Courtney Crum-Ewing on March 10, 2015.

Hinds during his interview detailed where squad members got their guns and ammunition and who they took their orders from.

Harmon has asked Hinds to turn himself into the police if he fears for his life and to tell them also what he knows, since “the state apparatus will be following up those leads and asking  other questions…” Harmon reminded however that if Hinds is confessing to taking part in criminal activities, then he should not expect sympathy from the law in that regard. 

International bodies have been calling on the Guyanese government to investigation the extra-judicial killings that took place little over a decade ago. This period also saw another killing gang called the ‘phantom squad’ alleged to be the footmen of the country’s most notorious drug lord, Roger Khan.

Mostly young black men were said to have been killed. Figures put together by at least one interest group had shown that almost 450 persons lost their lives during that killing period- 2002 to 2006.

Hinds credited himself and fellow death squad member, deceased Axel Williams, with helping to quell violent crime by a gang of men, most of whom had escaped from the Georgetown Prison in February, 2002.