Phyllis Coard, member of ‘Grenada 17,’ dies in Jamaica

Phyllis and Bernard Coard

KINGSTON, Jamaica – The only woman who was convicted in Grenada for the 1983 murder of the country’s Prime Minister, Maurice Bishop, has died.

Jamaica-born Phyllis Coard, 73, died at a hospital in Kingston on Sunday.  She was the wife of former Deputy Prime Minister of Grenada, Bernard Coard, who was believed to be the mastermind of the bloody coup in which Bishop was killed.

Shortly after the uprising, Phyllis, her husband and several government and army officials were rounded up by troops from the United States and the Caribbean that stormed the island on October 25, 1983.

Six days after the invasion, Bishop was executed at Fort George along with three ministers – Unison Whiteman, Norris Bain and Jacqueline Creft.

Phyllis Coard

As one of the  “Grenada 17,”   Phyllis Coard was convicted in 1983 for her role in the murder of Bishop.

In February 2000, she was diagnosed with a cancerous tumour which doctors said would require treatment by an oncologist.

At that time, Grenada was without an oncologist or facilities to treat cancer patients and Coard was released on medical condition to seek treatment abroad for six months in the first instance.

It was also agreed that she be allowed, on medical grounds, to apply for extensions of this temporary respite from her prison term.

She left Grenada for Jamaica to receive treatment