Phantom squad arose because of terror created by the criminals
Stabroek News
February 4, 2004

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Dear Editor,

The evolution of the Phantom, subsequently labeled Death Squad, is a phenomenon derived out of a situation in which villages were invaded, homes and businesses plundered, men, women and children maimed or murdered, policemen and security officials assassinated, with little or no protection by the State and its security apparatus.

Nighttime and darkness brought with it unlivable and unimaginable moments of fear and terror, for thousands of Guyanese. Added to the above atrocities are kidnappings committed against innocent civilians, which subsequently escalated to the kidnapping of a US security official.

Hence, the 'Phantom' - 'Dogs of War', ready and willing to do the biddings of a weak and fearful nation. For the majority of Guyanese, the killing and elimination of criminals who had created fear and havoc in their lives is a welcome development, regardless of the fact that the killing of these criminals was done outside the law. Logically, as long as the general population remains unprotected from criminal mayhem within the legal system, they will resort to protection outside of the law. This is a natural reaction, to any oppressive social and economic force that may exist in society.

Regardless of the political morality played out in Guyana's theatre of politics, the reality of the 'Phantom' will continue to haunt the nation, as long as the political and security institutions remain incapable of preventing, the high level of criminal brutality and violence against Guyanese.

Yours faithfully,

Raj Williams