Mon | Nov 12, 2018

August Town a model for peace? Please!

Published:Friday | February 2, 2018 | 12:00 AM


I learnt that seven persons were shot (four fatally) in the community of August Town last Friday. What is frightening is that we, the media, reported that this heinous act was committed nearby the main entrance to the University of the West Indies. I can confirm that it is not the first time that this has happened in the vicinity of the university.

I recall in the 1990s, one Sunday morning, I was studying for undergraduate examinations and I was jolted by explosions. I ran to the secondary entrance adjoining the Mona Post Office, where I saw a young man lying in a pool of blood, while another was seen lying behind the post office. I subsequently learnt that one was killed because of gang violence, while the other, who was a witness to the act, was also killed innocently.

What bothers me is that the prime minister recently announced that August Town can be a model of peace that can be replicated across other communities. While one may argue that the attempts at social intervention should be lauded and commended, that alone is not sufficient to tackle the crime scourge.

Steps should be taken to systematically eradicate the flow of guns into the community, even when the guns have stopped barking after brokered peace agreements.

I have seen time and again where pace deals have not worked. Truces were forged in the Mountain View area in the late 1980s in the communities of Jacques Road and McGregor Gully and even Goodrich Lane. They have never worked. Thirty-two years later, a new feud has arisen between the same communities.