OBSTACLES TO HEALING AND RECONCILIATION
IN GRENADA AS IDENTIFIED BY THE TRUTH
AND RECONCILIATION COMMISSION
LACK OF POLITICAL
AND PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY
The T.R.C. also recognizes the refusal of many persons, both politicians and others who were involved in the political process during the period under review to accept responsibility for their wrong-doings. Reconciliation involves acknowledging and accepting responsibility for one's wrong-doings.
Many persons, during the period under review, have deliberately or inadvertently participated in and perpetrated some serious crimes, violence, and atrocities of one type or another (including murder, beatings, torture, arrests, and disappearances) against many Grenadians, and to date have not acknowledged or accepted responsibility for their wrong-doings. In fact, many of those wrong-doers and perpetrators are still around today.
While some have migrated and continue to live abroad, many are living in Grenada today—working, walking, and rubbing shoulders with others, even with those they have wronged, but have not acknowledged or expressed sorrow or remorse for their wrong doings. One example; of the above is attested to in the Report of "The Duffus Commission of Inquiry Into The Breakdown of Law and Order and Police Brutality in Grenada", published February 27th, 1975. That Commission looked into the political events and the Incidents of Infringements of Constitutional Rights in Grenada between 1973 and 1974.
According to the Report of the Duffus Commission of Inquiry, complaints were heard, and evidence was gathered from several individuals - both victims of crimes and violence, and perpetrators of same. The above Report presents events of a tragic nature in the affairs of Grenada between 1973 and 1974.
According to one incident that happened in Grenville on November 18th, 1973 involving six persons of the N.J.M., namely: Maurice Bishop, Kenrick Radix, Unison Whiteman, Hudson Austin, Simon Daniel, and Selwyn Strachan. These men were accused of planning to overthrow the then Government of Eric Gairy by force of arms. They were set upon, chased, beaten and brutalized by several policemen and their aides, who were armed with rifles, iron pipes, batons, axe handles, sticks, etc. They even had their hair shaven with broken bottles, were put in cells, clad only in their underpants; some of them with wounds that were bleeding. They were even refused medical attention. It is reported that Maurice Bishop was very "seriously injured" with a fractured jaw. (See Report of The Duffus Commission of Inquiry Into The Breakdown of Law and Order and Police Brutality in Grenada. (Pages 18 - 21; paragraphs 32 through to 36) [See Duffus Table of Contents].
Although there were several other similar incidents during the period of 1973-1974, and during the Revolutionary period 1979-1983, the aforementioned, as well as several atrocities committed during the Revolutionary period, tell of the inhumane and brutal treatment inflicted on some Grenadians by fellow Grenadians. Such brutality has evidently left indelible scars and wounds on many who are alive today, as well as on the psyche and history of Grenada and the Grenadian people.
One example of the many atrocities that occurred daring the "Revolutionary period" was that of a man from Tivoli, St. Andrew who testified before the T.R.C. on 8th February 2002, according to his testimony he was castrated on the 20th June, 1980—His testicles were cut and salt and pepper water poured on them, was also tortured in other ways and left to languished in pain for several days and nights (See Part 6 Witness 8) of this Report.
The T.R.C. recommends here that those who have in any way participated in, or contributed to such atrocities, crimes, violence, and brutality, and who are still alive should come forward and take responsibility for their wrong doings, and apologize to the victims and families of victims. Furthermore, the present political authority could apologise to the nation for the sins, mistakes, and wrong doings of the political authorities of the past. Such action can go a long way in helping the process of healing and reconciliation in Grenada, and all efforts must be made and steps taken to make sure that such incidents never happen in Grenada again.