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2005-12-08 08:56:11

An Outrage!

Bahamas 'Christian' government denies murdered boys a proper burial.

We do not have words enough with which to express the extent and depth of our dismay and outrage when we heard the news that the remains of the five boys who were murdered in Grand Bahama are yet to be returned to their families for proper disposition.

In this regard, we note our complete and utter disappointment with The Bahamas Christian Council as far as this issue is concerned. Of all Bahamian institutions, this one should have been in the forefront of the hue and cry for those remains to be given Christian burial as is the custom in this country.

The Council must step into the light and do what it must to see to it that what needs to be done, is in fact done.

We also call on Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Perry Gladstone Christie and the Hon. Cynthia Pratt to shoulder their responsibilities, take charge and see to it that those remains are returned to the families of the victims.

This egregious abuse raises our hackles because it puts into sharp relief a situation which is so very wrong. Here reference is to what seems a total perversion of justice and a most horrible exemplification of a 'different strokes for different folks' kind of philosophy that is alive and well in The Bahamas.

In this regard, we remember well how the entire establishment was put in high gear when two foreign women were murdered. That they were tourists also seemed to matter, thus the removal of all stops as the search for justice was put in high gear. And so it should have been.

We wonder why it is that so many high officials are responding so lamely to the outrage concerning the disposition of the remains of the five boys who were murdered in Grand Bahama. We neither buy nor accept the explanation about the high cost of forensic services that has been put forward by Police Commissioner Paul Farquharson.

This country is rich enough to afford those services. That it has not done so is a consequence of policy and decision on the part of those with the power. It really is as simple as that.

The matter at hand involves poor people, which means that it is not high priority.

Two years have already passed since a sensational killing spree began on Grand Bahama that consumed the nation's attention for months on end.

As we know, five schoolboys disappeared without a trace between May and September of 2003. Of note is the fact that they all came from low-income homes and worked as packers at the downtown Winn Dixie supermarket.

Jake Grant, 12, was the first to vanish on May 9. Mackinson Colas, 12, was reported missing on May 16, Deangelo McKenzie, 13, on May 27, Junior Reme, 11, on July 29 and Desmond Rolle, 14, on September 28.

We remember quite vividly that the disappearances sparked a wave of hysteria across Grand Bahama and throughout The Bahamas.

The six-month-long mystery ended in late October 2003 with the indictment of a man that police say murdered four of the boys and another man.

Cordell Farrington, 35, a warehouse employee at Kelly's Freeport, was charged with five counts of murder in Freeport magistrate's court.

The fifth count was that he killed Jamaal Kareem Robins, 22, sometime between Friday, July 12, 2002, and Sunday, October 26, 2003 at Freeport, Grand Bahama.

As these were indictable offences, Farrington was not required to plead and was remanded to Fox Hill Prison. The media was banned from court during arraignment. Farrington was indicted in the Supreme Court at Nassau in April of last year and is still in prison awaiting trial.

After exhausting all avenues, foreign expertise was enlisted. Officials from the FBI, Scotland Yard and the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children in the United States joined in the search efforts.

All of these efforts came to one big fat zero. As we all know, the case was not broken until Farrington with the assistance of a relative, basically turned himself in.

Today we also know that the remains of these victims now act as a monumental reproach to all right-thinking Bahamians. Their remains should be returned to their families not later, but now.

To do otherwise, would be to add massive insult to an egregious outrage. Enough is enough already.

Editorial from The Bahama Journal - Nassau, Bahamas

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