By Travis Cartwright-Carroll
Nassau Guardian Staff Reporter
NASSAU, Bahamas -- Miami-based Cuban protest group Democracy Movement said on Monday it wants answers into the death of a Guyanese man who died at a detention centre in The Bahamas last year.
Democracy Movement spokesperson Ramon Sanchez said he plans to meet with the Guyanese consul general in Miami to establish dialogue on the issue.
A coroner’s inquest has started into the death of Gordon Tilford, 33, who died at the detention centre on December 3, 2012, according to Director of Immigration William Pratt.
At the time of his death, immigration officials said it was unclear how he died and foul play was not suspected.
Pratt confirmed yesterday that some of his officers have been called to testify.
Sanchez claims that Cuban detainees at the facility witnessed Tilford’s death. He claimed that one of the detainees attempted to give Tilford mouth-to-mouth resuscitation when he collapsed.
“We want the people who watched him die questioned by the authorities,” Sanchez said.
“The government can do and say what they want about us. They can call us the enemy. But they cannot deny what we’ve been saying because it’s true. The abuse in the center was real, and it was bad.”
Sanchez was referring to the alleged abuse of some Cuban detainees at the detention center by Bahamian officers.
The government has ordered an investigation into those allegations.
When Tilford arrived in The Bahamas he presented a Trinidadian passport, according to immigration officials.
Shortly after his death, Tilford’s relatives said they wanted answers.
Caleb Alex Dorsett, an attorney retained by the family after his arrest, said Tilford suffered breathing difficulties while at the center and was taken to Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) for treatment.
He was returned to the detention centre, where he died, officials confirmed.
Republished with permission of the Nassau Guardian