Dodson's relatives deny 'phantom force' allegations

Guyana Chronicle
May 23, 2003

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RELATIVES of Lance Corporal Shemton Dodson have disassociated themselves from "spurious" allegations made Wednesday morning on a TV talk show aired on Channel 9.

According to a Guyana Defence Force press release, the relatives of Lance Corporal Dodson spoke after a woman purporting to be the aunt of Shemton Dodson claimed to have had knowledge of the involvement of the "Phantom Force" in the operation on May 15 during which Dodson was mortally wounded.

It noted that the caller suggested a tacit involvement of the GDF in an operation with an irregular force and a subsequent "cover-up" by army officials.

"However, while the GDF rejects these allegations as malicious and baseless, our members are more concerned about the impact of the spurious report on L/C Dodson's grieving relatives."

The release said that "such an act of insensitivity cannot go unchallenged. While the GDF has noted the actions of a few who continue to vilify the work of the Joint Services and question their motives, we suggest that there can be no good intended by those persons.

"The mother of Dodson, who expressed her satisfaction for the manner in which the GDF handled her son's affairs after his death, spoke of the irresponsibility in the transmission of such untruths and the fact that journalists should be more accountable for their actions.

"The GDF remains committed to preserving the welfare and well-being of our members both past and present," the statement concluded.

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