By Kaelanne Jordan
Archbishop Gabriel Malzaire of Castries, St Lucia has vehemently denounced the “senseless” killings which took place in the town of Vieux Fort, Thursday, March 9 and the deadly gun incident during the country’s 44th anniversary of independence celebrations, February 22, that claimed the lives of four men.
The Archbishop has now called on every sector of society, all Christians and persons of goodwill to join him in praying fervently, that God will lend a hand in this time of “moral crisis”.
Archbishop Malzaire, in a brief video message via the Archdiocese of Castries Facebook page, commented such a situation says a great deal about the country and the direction it is taking.
“It only serves to instill great fear in the entire citizenry of our beloved country, thus affecting every aspect of the life of our people – the social, economic, religious and political,” said the Archbishop.
The country’s present situation, Archbishop Malzaire highlighted, did not “fall from the sky.” It is the result of “great irresponsibility” on the part of many – the home, the church, the political machinery, the law enforcement agents, and the societal condition citizens live in. “We tolerate too much licentiousness in all our executions,” Archbishop Malzaire said.
As such, “we are all in need of healing for proper redress to the present situation.”
The Archbishop then urged citizens to grow in becoming each other’s keeper and work towards building a better nation, embracing the virtue of peace for now and for the future.
The voiceslu.com reported gun violence in Vieux Fort on Thursday (March 9) escalated to a “whole new level” when two males and a female died after sustaining gunshot wounds. The violence also left nine-year-old nursing gunshot injuries at hospital.
As a result of the “relentless shooting spree” in Vieux Fort, the Ministry of Education announced that all schools within that community were to remain closed for the day.
A Caribbean Nation Weekly article dated January 9, 2023 said that Prime Minister Phillip J Pierre described crime as “the monster in the room”. He said the government will, this year introduce more diverse social programmes, in conjunction with various stakeholders, including private sector and churches, to curb the crime situation on the island.
In response to the latest incident of deadly gun violence, the Prime Minister has announced help from the Regional Security System (RSS) and 24-hour police patrols.
“It is time to act, and I ask for your support. There will be some difficult decisions to be made, and some strong actions will be taken to deal with these cowards and criminals,” Prime Minister Pierre declared in an address to the nation Saturday, March 11, according to a St Lucia Times report.