By Benjamin Flowers: Caribbean Shores Area Representative and Minister of Home Affairs, Kareem Musa was preparing to inaugurate a new park in his constituency named after slain artist Gilbert Alamilla aka Mr. Program this coming Thursday; however, due to two murders over the weekend, Musa announced today that the inauguration has been postponed.
Musa said this morning that the murders of John King and Mark Lord have been felt deeply by their communities, so the inauguration was postponed to allow their families time to grieve.
“John was a beloved soccer player, and like Mr. Program, an ultra-talented artist. Mark was a quiet young man and always ready to put in a hard day’s work. Both men were deeply loved by their families and their community,” Musa said.
Musa stressed that police have been making increased efforts to crack down on violent crimes over the last month and a half, but that those efforts are currently being overshadowed by another spike in such crimes, which has led to the murders of King and Lord. He also said that tackling the issue of violent crime in Belize will take more than parks and police work.
“The issue of hate that exists amongst our young men. Hating those of our own skin color and fueling gang and turf wars with no real purpose or motive other than to kill or be killed,” Musa said. “This may be an unpleasant discussion to have but it is real, it is raw and it is important. Important because each of us as parents and leaders within our respective communities have a role to play in raising our children ‘as a village’ and instilling values and virtues that have eroded over the last four decades.”
King was at the home of Mark Smith located on Victoria Street on Saturday night when someone began shouting “Evil” outside. King went to check who it was when the person shouting shot him several times. He was taken to the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital but died of his injuries just before 8:00 p.m.
Lord, who was also killed on Saturday night, was walking on Jones Street around 6:30 p.m. when someone approached him and shot him several times, killing him on the spot.