They are left to rest in peace. But how can that be possible when peace had nothing to do with what had happened to them when they were still young and alive? Their murders speak of insanity, desperation, man’s inhumanity to man—flat-out cruelty. Who really has the right to take another person’s life? So far twenty-four Saint Lucians have lost their lives this year. What did the victims do to deserve losing their lives?
The most recent murder of 19-year-old Chereece Benoit evoked anger and disbelief. Yet there were bits of positivity to be found. Her untimely death inspired Saint Lucians near and far to share their perspectives on the way forward in crime fighting. In the discussions even the controversial Operation Restore Confidence was brought into the mix. Some called on those in authority and in the position to make a difference to pay more attention to the rights of regular human beings and stop talking about the criminals.
The question of the day: “Where is our right to live peacefully?” This week the STAR got a group of young Saint Lucians and got them talking about the issue of crime. This is what they had to say:
Who is in Control?
“You start questioning who is in control when you live in a society where criminals start playing God, determining who lives and who dies. Mary Francis, let’s hear your take on this. Will you march for these individuals who show no mercy for the meek? We have countless unsolved murders and a judicial system that does nothing but test our patience and push our moral codes and sanity to the limit . . . A broken mother who can sleep only with the aid of pills to stop the nightmares as the memory of her lifeless child haunts her subconsciousness . . . Where were her human rights? Who heard her screams but is too coward to come forward? They are so quick to break up families with one swift phone call: “Yes, girl, I saw your mun out eh . . . Yes, she pregnant too!”
Who are the ones attending funerals just to see the turn-out? Mom, while you feed your son as he is shaking and trying to act normal, a mother is awaiting her daughter’s return that will never come. While you run to renew his/ their passport, a daughter will never cross waters to further her education.
We live in a world where justice and equality are often cast aside by cruelty and the power of the dollar. Alisha Hunte, Xotic P, Verlinda Joseph, Giselle Georges, Trisha, Valerie and Chereece are the examples of the price the innocent pay when criminals play God—or maybe they’re just names and statistics to others. To their loved ones they were everything! May the God I serve put a hand. Another RIP to a beautiful, innocent soul . . . Alisha Hunte, take care of your friend. Her choice was not to join you so soon, but the god of cruelty decided otherwise.
—- Alicia Clark
Let’s Try This Again!
Operation Restore Confidence! Screw criminals! They lose their rights when they start hurting innocent people. Then their relatives will come on TV and talk about how they were such good people. No, they were not! The mother of the latest victim had one child, and you took her life. Where are the human rights activists now? I have no sympathy for these kinds of people, no peace, no rest for you until you die. — Ila Henry
Forgotten… until it happens again!
I couldn’t have said it better. I still remember when they killed Giselle and Tricia. I was still in primary school and I can remember they wrote “for your style” on the dead body of Giselle after raping and killing her. Krystal Felix’s face at Leon Hess is so profound in my head. She was always smiling. These things disgust me. I just can’t bear to read and to know these things happen in our little country. After the marches, candles, songs and the funerals, it’s all silence and they forget these poor girls until it happens again. Sad, but that’s the pattern. — Claudine Quashie
Back to Community Policing
Asking for justice for C. Benoit seems so far-fetched when we have accepted as the norm of a justice system that constantly fails us. Instead of hiding behind curtains, peeping when you hear a scream or something out of the ordinary, speak up; tell someone; make a call that might save a life or provide closure to family and friends who need it most. Let’s go back to the days when the neighborhood and communities raised and protected their children. My deepest condolences to the family and friends of C. Benoit. May her kindred soul rest in peace. A sad day it is when The Most High takes one of his angels from us.— Oneka Mckoy
Everybody must play their part
I’m not the most religious person in the world but when I hear that kind of news it reminds me of the amount of evil that exists nowadays. Some people have no value for life. There are even those who will question the Scriptures to justify their lifestyle. I honestly respect the power of prayer. It has a discipline about it. Even more so when prayers are answered . . . That’s blessings. You give thanks and express appreciation for life and that of other people as well. We need more prayers in this country. Chereece didn’t deserve this and I will have to pray more so that not only does this not happen to someone close to me but that I don’t lose it if it does. Be careful out there, people. Blessed love.
— Ezra Augustin