OBSTACLES TO HEALING AND RECONCILIATION
IN GRENADA AS IDENTIFIED BY THE TRUTH
AND RECONCILIATION COMMISSION
AND LACK OF ADEQUATE COMPENSATION
Based on evidence given by most of the persons who appeared before the T.R.C. and some of the persons whom the Commissioners visited, one of the overwhelming concerns and requests was compensation. Many of those who gave evidence regarding their experiences during the periods under review, remained grieved and bitter over the fact that they were either not compensated at all, or not adequately or justly so.
Some of them made reference to the fact that persons were substantially compensated while they, and many others, were not treated justly. We are talking here of persons who were unlawfully detained, physically tortured, beaten up, lost limbs, lost property and livelihood, lost loved ones. and in some instances, their family bread-winner.
For example, when the members of the T.R.C. visited Miss Gertrude Isaac - mother of Fitzroy Bain on the 27th August 2002, these are some of the things she said to the Commissioners.
No one from the Church or Government ever visited me . . . When I got the full news that they had killed Fitzroy, I bawled and cried and had a breakdown. I went to the American Embassy, but they told me that it is the Government people that killed Fitzroy, not them. I went to Mr. Braithwaite. I went to Government many times. I went Mr. Joslyn Whiteman many, times at his office. He kept telling me to "come back", "come back". But they all kept bluffing me. Mr. Whiteman gave me forms to fill, but nothing presently. I get $100.00 poor relief, but 1 have to pay bills, light bills, etc. I have nothing. I went to the Prime Minister twice in Happy Hill. He told me to give him my phone number, but he has never called me. Fitzroy had a small insurance. We got death certificate from Dr. Jensen Otway. Fitzroy was the only breadwinner in the home.
According to Miss Isaac's other son - Martin Isaac, brother of the executed Fitzroy Bain:
If Fitzroy was alive, my mother would not be in the condition she is in ... Some monetary contribution will help to fix her house. Presently, Mom is not living in her house; it is not good for living. She is living in family house presently.
Miss Gertrude Isaac made a final plea:
Do something to make me feel happy.
Those who were picked up and thrown into prison to languish for months and years without charge or trial, those who suffered grievous bodily harm, those who lost livelihood, personal properties and possessions, these and some of similar cases need to be revisited in order that justice may be meted out to those persons.
From all this, it is evident that the question of compensation remains another serious obstacle to healing and reconciliation in Grenada since many are still bitter because they were either not compensated or, not adequately so.
The T.R.C. recommends that the relevant authorities should revisit this question of compensation and find some ways of compensating those persons who suffered serious physical disability; those who have lost arms and limbs, and can no longer work for a livelihood; those who lost their breadwinners; those who lost substantial property or personal possessions during the period under review and were not in any way compensated. Monetary compensation may not be possible for everyone, but some form of reparation could be considered in order give satisfaction and to restore some form of dignity to the victims and families of those who suffered or died.