PNP condemns Mountain View 'killing field'
Thursday, August 29, 2002
|PICKERSGILL... questioned whether this was part of a wider criminal network|
RULING People's National Party (PNP) chairman, Robert Pickersgill, last night called for swift justice for those who maintained a "killing field" near the community centre at Jacques Road in the eastern section of Kingston.
The PNP chairman also made a thinly-veiled attempt to gain political capital from the discovery of the remains of at least seven persons from two sewage pits in the area by drawing attention to the similarities between this week's discovery and a similar case, more than three years ago, in West Kingston, the constituency of Opposition Leader Edward Seaga.
"... While noting that the discovery of the burial ground of human remains was reminiscent of others found in sections of western Kingston (Pickersgill) questioned whether this was part of a wider criminal network...," said the PNP statement.
Senior JLP officials could not be contacted for comment last night, but the party was likely to argue that this was another attempt by the PNP to demonise its leader by linking his constituency to violence.
Among the bodies retrieved during the gruesome searches on Monday and Tuesday were those of Yvonne Beaumont-Walters, the 44-year-old ex-wife of PNP deputy general-secretary, Linton Walters, and Beaumont-Walters' cousin, Jeffery Beaumont, 29. They were car-jacked on Friday in the Drumblair area of Kingston, apparently shot dead, and their bodies dumped in a pit on a disused lot on Fourth Avenue, near Jacques Road in northern St Andrew.
Monday's recovery of the Beaumonts was followed by Tuesday's discovery of five skulls, bones and body parts in the sewage pit at Fourth Avenue and another on the playing-field behind the Jacques Road community centre.
In last night's statement, Pickersgill said that this week's discovery of the dumping ground for dead bodies on Jacques Road and nearby Fourth Avenue merely represented the latest instance of "wanton murders which frequently occur in this area" and called on "all well-thinking Jamaicans, including political leaders", to dissociate themselves from such acts.
They should support the security forces in pursuing those responsible for the killings and in ensuring that justice was done "on behalf of the innocent victims", Pickersgill said.
But at the same time, the PNP chairman sought to put pressure on the Opposition and its leader by reminding of the police's claim, more than three years ago, of finding a torture chamber in Tivoli Gardens, the heartland of Seaga's West Kingston constituency. Fragments of human tissue and blood were reported to have been found in a room there.
Like in West Kingston, the JLP has strong support in the Jacques Road area, one of the capital's most volatile inner-city communities.
Said the PNP statement: "Mr Pickersgill called on the decent and law-abiding citizens of Jacques Road to co-operate with the police so that the perpetrators and those who are maintaining such death chambers could be swiftly brought to justice to prevent further tarnishing of the Jacques Road community."