West Kingston Enquiry: Residents said thugs prevented them from leaving Tivoli - military commander
A top military commander during the May 2010 operations in Tivoli Gardens has testified that residents reported that armed thugs prevented them from leaving the west Kingston community.
Major Luis Cheverria told the West Kingston Commission of Enquiry this morning that some residents reported that in the days leading up to the start of the operations on May 24 they were allowed to go to their jobs.
However, he said they reported that they were warned that their relatives would be killed if they did not return to the community.
Cheverria also testified that he saw the bodies of two males with their throats slashed shortly after his troops took control of the section of the community they were tasked with securing.
He said they were among several bodies he saw on the first day of the operation, although he could not recall how many bodies he saw.
According to Cheverria, his observation and interaction with residents came as he walked through Tivoli Gardens after his troops were able to secure their area of responsibility nearly four hours after the operation started.
He also told the commission that his troops found several men who admitted that they were not from the community, but were from as far as Montego Bay, in St James.