Sunday 8 December, 2019

AG: Disputes need not end in death

Attorney General Dale Marshall has commented on the chopping incident which took place on Independence Day in Walkers St Andrew, urging Barbadians to find different ways to resolve disputes.

Three men lost their lives in a vicious cutlass attack in the rural community while two others received non-life threatening injuries.

Police spent most of Independence Day at the scene conducting investigations and updating relatives of the deceased.

Marshall, in a statement, said the incident is unfortunate, in light of the Independence Day celebrations which were taking place all across the island.

He said these kinds of disputes, related to the possession of land, could have been settled in a court of law.

“Preliminary information indicates that these homicides were really as a result of a family dispute… related to land. The tragedy of this whole situation is that when the deaths occur the thing that is left is the real estate. There has to be a better way for Barbadians to resolve these kinds of disputes.

Anybody who is practiced in the courts of Barbados would recognize that a tremendous amount of energy and effort is expended on disputes related to ownership and possession of land. This is a time as we look to end the year 2019 that we have to think more about what the future holds and how we can better live in communities in peace.

He said choosing violence as a way to resolve a land dispute is senseless.

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“Barbadians have to recognize that disputes related to real estate are not things that are going to be settled by violence. There are other ways that the law allows and we also have other things such as mediation and alternative dispute resolution. We so eagerly resort to weapons, to knives, vicious implements to settle disputes that really have no business ending up in death. I am asking that Barbadians seek always to find different ways of resolving these disputes, they need not end in violence or in the loss of life.”

The AG said it is a “sad day” for the entire country and this incident will remain etched in the minds of St Andrew residents for a long time.

"Three deaths in one day due to any kind of misunderstanding or argument is tragic. The communities in St Andrew will feel the loss but that loss reverberates all across Barbados because the people who died are our brothers and our sisters. We ask that the spirit of peace and tranquility will remain. We hope that an incident such as this never mars, not only an Independence Day, but any day in our lives.”

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