The head of the Saint Lucia Catholic church has expressed concern about violent crime here, telling members of the flock that life is cheap in Saint Lucia.
Archbishop Robert Rivas was addressing the traditional Good Friday Way of the Cross observance.
He disclosed that in Trinidad and Tobago one thousand dollars in local currency which he described as “no money”, the equivalent of about $EC 450, can pay an assassin to get rid of someone.
“That is the price we are putting on life. It’s cheap; it’s irrelevant; it’s not important,” Archbishop Robert Rivas declared.
He asserted that there are people who are prepared to pay to destroy life and poor people who are prepared to accept the money to “go and do the mess.”
Rivas said this must never be the way of society in any part of the world.
But he observed that it is creeping into Saint Lucian society.
“I don’t know how many pieces of silver are paid, but life is cheap in Saint Lucia,” Rivas stated.
“People are being killed on our streets; near our schools; near our sacred places; and who cares?”
“Where are the voices that are speaking out against this type of criminality in our society?” He asked.
“How long will it go on? Why did Jesus sacrifice his life for us to bring us justice and peace – to bring us life; eternal life and the promise of life forever?” Rivas stated.
“It cannot continue this way,” the Archbishop asserted.
“ As long as it does, there will always be a miscarriage of justice or criminals will continue to take justice in their hands and we don’t call that justice; we call that vengeance – revenge; where life continues to be cheapened and to be worth nothing,” he stated.
Rivas explained that when justice is “shut up” in the society, criminality takes over.
“When people become afraid to speak because of the possible consequences of telling the truth – of giving evidence, then criminality takes over,” the head of the Saint Lucia Catholic church said.
Rivas spoke against the backdrop of nine homicides here so far for the year, the latest on Thursday afternoon when Chad Ramsay of Marchand was gunned down in broad daylight in Castries.
Another man, Michael Deterville, was reported in stable condition in hospital Friday after being shot at Trou Rouge, Marchand, Thursday shortly before midnight, in what is suspected to have been a related incident.