PRESS RELEASE: Dameon Belgrave Shooting

Georgetown -­- Partners for Peace and Development is outraged at the senseless murders of our youth in this country.

Regrettably, we lost another son, another citizen, another brother, another cousin, and another friend, Dameon Belgrave. He was shot when reckless members of the Guyana Police Force (GPF) opened fire outside the crowded White Castle Fish Shop in Hadfield Street, Georgetown on Friday, 5 October, 2012. After listening to the agony of Mr.
Belgrave’s mother and relatives outside the Georgetown Hospital, words of sympathy and comfort even though in order are rather inadequate. We can only say that we stand with your family in this time of need for justice.

Partners for Peace and Development remains concerned that the Guyana the Guyana Police Force has been in breach of the Constitution of Guyana and the Criminal Law Procedures Act with respect to arresting suspects or someone deemed to be in breach of the law. Just two weeks ago, we expressed concerns that “after millions of dollars of investment under international cooperation and economic agreements with development partners supporting police and judicial reform programmes, we, the people have only observed improvements its hardware capabilities. The society as a whole has not
benefited from improved policing and protection services as result of these reform programmes.” It is less than desirable for the population to pay for police reforms, in return for poor crime-­-solving capabilities, consistent breach of SOPs in civilian–police relations, disregard for the rights and freedoms of citizens and private investment in protection of
property and person from criminals and outlaws.

Partners for Peace and Development call on President Ramotar to take decisive action now with respect to justice and accountability for the breach of fundamental rights of citizens. Mr. President, the citizen’s rights and protection are among your foremost responsibilities; please respond with alacrity to the cries of these mothers for justice for their dead sons and make the policemen responsible for extra-­-judicial killings accountable to the country. We can no longer postpone the systemic reforms that are needed to provide all persons living in Guyana with effective police services that protects, serves and respects human rights.

As a civil group that has also works with victims of violent crimes, we also urge the members of Parliament to pursue a coherent victim assistance programme is imperative to help survivors cope with and overcome the trauma of their loss, especially when the wheels of justice have not moved like the speed of bullets. We remain hopeful of positive
responses from all those in authority to act now.

Members of Partners for Peace and Development
Walter J. Alexander I Iasha Bacchus I Abbas Mancey I roxanne myers