Almost 50% rise in murders of returning residents, says Latouche
The number of murders of returning residents has increased by almost 47 per cent in 2019 when compared to last year, President of the Jamaica Association for the Resettlement of Returning Residents, Percival LaTouche has revealed.
"We have had 25 deaths of returning residents this year, last year there were 17 for the whole year. Jamaica has become a cannabalised country, where people are afraid to go on the streets. The Jamaica I used to know and love is no more," a despairing Latouche told Loop News reporter Claude Mills.
"The type of murders, the barbarity, the brutalism, the way that people are being killed, the murder of the Chief Justice's sister, the chopping death of Ms Gayle...I am not encouraging anybody to come back here to live."
Latouche was making reference to the murder of a 67-year-old, Evadney Gayle, who was chopped to death at her home in Manchester two days ago. Police reports are that shortly after 7 pm, a relative stumbled upon Gayle's body and alerted them.
He was also alluding to the rape and murder of Peggy Aljoe, the 74-year-old woman who was a sister of former Chief Justice, Zaila McCalla. A man has since pleaded guilty to Aljoe's rape and murder.
Latouche has become more strident in urging Jamaicans overseas not to return home.
"When they call, what should I tell them? A woman called me this morning from Switzerland that she wants to come home and wanted to know how to get her returning resident status, and I told her to stay where she is, why pack up and come home? She said she shipped off her stuff already. But forewarned is to be forearmed, so she needs to know what is going on," he said.
According to LaTouche, who spent over 30 years in the United Kingdom before returning to his homeland: "Jamaica has become a fertile place to commit murder".
"The people who commit crimes are in high places. Look at the murder of returning resident Jermaine Junior. Who is investigating that murder? Whose gun did the bullet come from? Twelve stab wounds. One gunshot wound. What happened to that? I am not afraid. God is over my head, my father and mother are Christians, I will speak my truth, I am not stopping. I only have to do what I have to do," Latouche said.
Junior’s body, which had more than a dozen stab wounds, was reportedly found in the living room of an attorney around 4.30 am in September 2016. The knife used was reportedly found beside the body.
The deceased was said to be the caretaker of the premises. The police said that there were no signs of forced entry. The lawyer, who reportedly slept through the murder, was immediately ruled out as a suspect by the police.