The following statement is issued by the Parliamentary Representative of Vieux Fort South, Dr Kenny D. Anthony, in the wake of the murder of three citizens of Vieux Fort, yesterday, March 09, 2023.
“Yesterday, March 09, unidentified gunmen unleashed an unprecedented carnage in Vieux Fort when they shot three citizens to death, in three separate incidents.
These acts have caused considerable pain, sorrow, fear and anxiety among the citizens of Vieux Fort. The killers were brazen. They acted with impunity, totally unconcerned by those around them and the trauma they unleashed on the community.
For my part, I am deeply saddened and distressed. All the victims were personally known to me.
Dylan Bastien, who was 28 years old at the time of his murder, played a key role in my campaign in the 2021 General Election. Ruphus Stephen alias “Brico”, who was 62 years old at the time of his murder was a well-known fisherman who owned several boats.
Lorraine Savery was 59 years old. She was an employee of the Vieux Fort South Constituency Council, and was a caretaker of the Town Square. She is the mother of six children.
No words can ever be sufficient to console the families of the victims.
It is inconceivable that in a small community like Vieux Fort, the perpetrators of this wave of brutality are unknown.
It cannot be acceptable that the town should be held hostage to gangs. Today, schools have been closed. A District Sports Meet has been postponed. Commerce has been affected as persons in nearby communities are fearful of travelling to Vieux Fort to conduct business. Citizens are afraid to walk the streets to visit stores or to engage in social activities. By evening, Vieux Fort has virtually become a ghost town.
Despite marches against crime and violence in the community, prayer vigils and engagement of influential individuals by civil society groups to urge peace and the disarming of gang members, there has been no respite in the wanton killings.
There can be no question that the approach to fighting crime in Vieux Fort has to change
dramatically. There has to be a complete re-thinking of the strategy of fighting crime in Vieux Fort. The present approaches are simply not working. They are not yielding results.
The citizens of Vieux Fort feel that they are unprotected by those charged with the responsibility to protect them. This has to change if the community is to co-operate with law enforcement.”