Eight years after the Police killing of three Linden protesters and months after a lawsuit was filed against the State of Guyana, the State has decided to settle the Court case to the tune of $77 million.
Under the settlement, the estate of Ron Somerset will receive $27 million while the estates of the other two men, Shemroy Bouyea and Allan Lewis will receive $25 million each.
The three “Linden Martyrs”, Ron Somerset, Shemroy Bouyea and Allan Lewis, were shot dead on the 18th July 2012 at the Wismar Mackenzie Bridge by Police Officers during a protest over a proposed increase in electricity costs.
A Commission of Inquiry was conducted into the deaths.
While the Commission found that the Guyana Police Force was responsible for the deaths, it failed to name specific ranks as being responsible. No member of the Force was ever charged though it was found that only the Police were armed on the day of the protest.
That 2012 Commission of Inquiry awarded $7 million in total to the families of the three young men, with two of the families being awarded $3 million each and the family of the youngest of the three dead men being awarded just $1 million. The Commission had made it clear that the financial award ought not be seen as compensation.
Since then, there have been calls on the government, the previous PPP and the current APNU+AFC, to increase the award of the Commission.
When that was not done, Attorney Darren Wade moved ahead with the lawsuit earlier this year.
In the lawsuit, Attorney Darren Wade, argued on behalf of the relatives that the right to life and the fundamental right to liberty of the three men were breached by the Police that acted on behalf of the state.