US bars 6 former J'can cops from entryFriday, December 11, 2020
BY ARTHUR HALL
United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has named six former members of a now disbanded Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) operational team, the Crime Management Unit (CMU), among 17 officials and family members of foreign governments who have been banned from that country for “gross violations of human rights”.
In a release to mark World Human Rights Day yesterday, Pompeo said the US is committed to using every appropriate tool and authority to draw attention to violations and abuses of human rights, no matter where or when they occur, and to promote accountability for those responsible for those violations and abuses.
“Today, the [State] Department is announcing the public designation of 17 officials of foreign governments and their immediate family members under Section 7031(c) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act 2020, as carried forward by the Continuing Appropriations Act 2021, due to the officials' involvement in gross violations of human rights.
“Section 7031(c) provides that in cases where the secretary of state has credible information that officials of foreign governments have been involved in a gross violation of human rights or significant corruption, those individuals and their immediate family members are to be designated publicly or privately and are ineligible for entry into the United States,” said Pompeo.
He added: “The State Department is… designating Devon Orlando Bernard, Reneto DeCordova Adams, Patrick Anthony Coke, Shayne St Aubyn Lyons, Leford Gordon, and Roderick Anthony Collier for their involvement in gross violations in human rights in Jamaica.”
Pompeo was making reference to a 2003 incident in which two women and two men were killed in a house in the sleepy district of Crawle in Clarendon by members of the CMU led by the then Senior Superintendent of Police Adams.
The CMU members had gone into Crawle in search of alleged gangster Bashington “Chen Chen” Douglas, who was forced to flee Spanish Town, St Catherine, after surviving a gun attack. Douglas survived what the police said was a shoot-out, but was fatally shot three years later.
With claims that the four people were killed in cold blood in Crawle, Adams and five other members of the CMU — two corporals and three constables who were part of the operation — were eventually charged with non-capital murder after a ruling by the Director of Public Prosecutions.
They were, however, freed of the charges in December 2005. The CMU was disbanded and Adams resigned from the JCF in 2008.
The six Jamaicans and their family members were joined on the list released by Pompeo by José Antonio Almendáriz Rivas, who the US said was involved in a gross violation of human rights in relation to the death of Spanish national Dr Begoña García de Arandigoyen on September 10, 1990 in El Salvador, and Chief Huang Yuanxiong of the Xiamen Public Security Bureau Wucun Police Station for “his involvement in gross violations of human rights in Xiamen, China”.
The Jamaica Observer was unsuccessful in its efforts to contact Adams last night, while Government officials who were contacted said they could not comment on the development.