For days we have been following the discourse in the media about the joint services approach to the Fineman gang, especially the exchange that occurred between Fineman himself, Skinny and others at Kuru Kuru.
Like many right thinking Guyanese, we would have preferred to have the two men taken into custody so that the numerous ghosts that haunt this nation can finally be removed. In the emotional scheme of things, we have heard mostly Afro-Guyanese mutter words of disbelief that these men for whom wanted bulletins were issued, were killed and now rest rotting instead of before the courts spitting revelations of their escapades.
What really pinched our nerves here at Guyana 360 was the heckling of Lincoln Lewis, who spent recent time abroad serving the regional trades union umbrella. He professes to speak on behalf of oppressed Afro-Guyanese workers. Luckily, none of us here are Afro-Guyanese.
His argument about purported criminals being killed by police when they could have easily been arrested holds some truth. They have been such cases -the Mandela Avenue trio and Blackie quickly spring to memory.
However, in this case, Lewis is far off course - so far that a GPS or a Google Map will be of no use to him. We would certainly have visited Lewis to sit him down and knock some sense into his pee wee brain. As one who sits on the 'side of truth', you have to be smart and know when to harp. Don't be like our neighbour's dog, barking just for the sake of it.
Several times, the police issued wanted bulletins for Fineman and some of his associates including Skinny and yet they opted to parade across the landscape. Isn't it ironic that Lewis never thought to publicly encourage his black brothers to turn themselves in and face the law.
We would hate to think that Lewis was cheering on the guys as they went about plunging fear into Guyana. Fineman had the means by which to ensure that he was captured alive or that he went to police unhurt.
There was a former Amy guy living on the East Coast who the military expressed an interest in speaking with immediately following the 2002 jail break. This army rank who had absconded had made arrangements through some media operatives to be present when he turned himself over to the army. The plan worked like a charm.
Fineman was able to call Kaieteur news to issue a bloody treat to this nation, yet he never sought to arrange with Adam Harris, whom he contacted at brief intervals, to arrange his arrest.
Lewis, there was a window of opportunity - a window that Skinny got and later choose to close it by escaping custody. We are not going to delve into the fact that there was a shootout. The fact remains that had these two people turned themselves in, there would have been no shootout, this debate would not have been and no one would have visited you to say hello.
Let's be sensible about the realities of the situation in Guyana. Perhaps Lewis and others are running scared that there might be no force left to really challenge law and order in Guyana at least not now, at least not for the remainder of this year. The PNCR recognises this fact when they stated that the deaths of the two men gave the Government an opportunity. In reality, the PNCR is saying that the Government has a chance to quickly to regroup and focus on where it wants to take this country before the gang reforms with a new leader.
Its the cycle of crime that continues to ride innocent Guyanese. Mistrust is everywhere. Travel in a taxi, a minibus, or just engage anyone at any bus park and they would tell you that the Government and law enforcement officials had clandestine reasons to take out both wanted men.
After all, the deaths of Frazer, one of the most feared cops in the history of policing in this country and George Bacchus are still being cast under the hand of this PPP/C administration or at least some mafia-type, KGB secret organisation condoned by the Government. They say the 'Phantom Squad' is Guyana's equivalent.
True or false, it has never been proven and there is wide spread belief of a 'squad' in existence tied to some of the wealthiest people, most of whom would have acquired their wealth through nefarious activities. Evidence exist in the fact that following the Lusignan slayings, many Indians felt that the weakening of a 'squad' may have lead to the return of criminals on the lower East Coast. Again, this is part of many widely held beliefs that have never been brought to the fore, except through a Death Squad inquiry with weak terms of reference. The main witness that stirred authorities to establish the commission was later killed.
Apart from the Lusignan and Bartica killings, one particular incident that occurred during the reign of Fineman, has really affected us almost to the point where we were ready to promote some vigilante response. We vividly remember the news splashed across the front page of the Kaieteur News of the killing of Dexter Barry, a young Afro-Guyanese who just happen to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. A young man well loved by his family and friends, living alone, just waiting for an approval from the US embassy to join the rest of his family.
It never happened, instead his family joined him back in Guyana to bid farewell.
The police found the murder weapon that snuffed out his life lying besides the lifeless body of Fineman. He may not have been the shooter at the time, but for all intent and purposes he was found with the weapon so we will presume he was.