2002-03 crime wave inquiry likely
Guyana Chronicle
May 16, 2004

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THOSE who have been calling for an inquiry into the crime wave that resulted in the loss of life of more than two dozen policemen and scores of civilians in the wake of the Mash Day 2002 prison escape may soon have their way.

President Bharrat Jagdeo said in a statement Friday announcing the setting up of a Presidential Commission of Inquiry into death squad allegations against Home Affairs Minister Ronald Gajraj, said his government is giving serious consideration to an inquiry into the crime wave similar to the one he has just established.

“At a subsequent time, an inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the February 23, 2002 jailbreak, the plight of victims of the criminal violence and political linkages to the 2002/2003 crime wave will be seriously considered,” he said.

In 2002, described in a newspaper review as “the year of living dangerously,” Guyanese endured an unprecedented surge in violent crimes that placed Guyana with Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago as being among the most dangerous places for tourists and foreign investors.

But the crime wave continued the following year, subsiding only after a retooled police combined forces with the army and conducted several cordon-and search operations in Buxton, the East Coast Demerara village said to have been a criminal haven.