Aug 31, 2008 News Comments Off on Buxton still uneasy after ‘Fine Man’s’ death
– villagers fear a return of the ‘Phantoms’
In the aftermath of the killings of Guyana’s most wanted, Rondell ‘Fine Man’ Rawlins, the village of Buxton remains tense, as young villagers are expecting a major offensive on the community.
However, the offensive is not expected to come from the legitimate security forces, but from extrajudicial sources. Villagers reported to this newspaper that already they are seeing a return of some members of the infamous ‘Phantom Squad’ in the village.
And in an about-face, the residents are calling on the security forces to maintain its presence in the community, since they fear that things may get out of hand.
Rawlins and several members of his gang were known to have used Buxton as their safe haven.
Rawlins’s girlfriend, Tenisha Morgan, also hails from the village, and some were of the impression that Buxtonians were providing cover for the fugitive.
However, the gang members were forced to flee the village when the security forces mounted several sustained operations there to capture them. Most of the remaining gang members, some of whom were identified by acting Police Commissioner Henry Greene at a press conference last week, have roots in the village. One villager told this newspaper that while persons are breathing a sigh of relief at the end of the ‘Fine Man’ era, normal life in the village will take some time to return. The villager says that, since the killing of ‘Fine Man’ and Charles, some members of the ‘Phantom Squad’ have been roaming the village in a not-too-friendly manner.
“One of dem tell dem youth man dat dey come fuh finish off,” the villager told Kaieteur News.
Villagers believe that since the gang has been significantly dented, other extra-judicial forces may try to upset the peace of the community. “They feel that de rest of men will come back to Buxton, but I really don’t think them men would come back here,” the villager stated.
He said that, since the killing, many of the community’s youths have been keeping off the road, fearing an attack by the ‘Phantoms’, who had made several unsuccessful forays into the village previously.
“Since night step in, dem youth man coming off de road,” he added. Acting Police Commissioner Henry Greene, when contacted, told this newspaper that villagers should feel free to report any suspicious behaviour to the police, more preferably to the Commander at Cove and John Police Station.
He indicated that there is still a military presence in the community, and the security forces will respond to any threat that the village is coming under. Rawlins was gunned down during a confrontation with members of the Guyana Defence Forces ‘Special Forces’ unit, bringing an end to almost five years of terror.
Another villager said that while the village of Buxton has been tainted by the presence of the gang there, residents in no way feel connected. The villager says that, although most of the young gang members were recruited from Buxton, they were seldom seen in the community within recent times.
“We now get a breather and we would like for it to remain that way. We suffered enough as a village,” a prominent villager, who had initially declined to speak to this newspaper, said.
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