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EDITORIAL – January 25th. 2019

EDITORIAL – January 25th. 2019
January 25
16:01 2019

By Harry Lawrence

The disappearance of the young woman, Anisha Young, not seen since the morning of December eighth when she vanished after socializing with her boyfriend at a nightclub, continues to baffle and at the same time irritate her many supporters who have been following the macabre developments which led to her death.

The Police have not officially acknowledged that Anisha, the shy and long-suffering home-maker who struggled mightily to escape from an abusive relationship with her boyfriend, is dead.

But the evidence is unmistakable. Family members have identified a braided wig which Anisha was fond of using, and they are clamoring for a DNA test, which can prove conclusively that she was taken against her will and murdered.

Hers is the third high-profile kidnapping to gain national attention in recent years. The first was the kidnapping of the late Ramon Cervantes Sr., a respected elder statesman, who was taken from his farm in Orange Walk and was found a few days later in a shallow grave.

The second is the case of Mr. Homero Campos who was kidnapped in Orange Walk in June last year. The kidnappers demanded half a million dollars in ransom money, and threatened to kill their victim if the money was not paid to them in Bitcoin.

We know that no money was paid out, and that the demands for a ransom have ended.

But there has been no trace of the victim, and his family is now reconciled to the conclusion that Homero Campos was killed, and his body buried in some unknown and desolate place.

Kidnappings have become a new menace in Belize, an unwelcome addition to other loathsome crimes, in part because they are accomplished by stealth, but mostly because these crimes are not easy to solve.

Our law enforcement people need special skills and special forensic tools to deal with this new menace. We need DNA technology and we need Luminol to detect the faint presence of blood.

More than that, we need dogged determination and applied energy to make sure that this new barbarism does not take root in our community.

The Police suggestion that the family of the missing woman should find the money to pay for DNA tests is completely wrong. Once the Police are convinced that a capital crime has been committed, it is their duty to do all in their power to bring the perpetrators to justice, so that our country can become a safe place.

If the Police Department does not have the resources, it is incumbent on the Minister of Police, who is also the Minister of National Security, to step up to the plate and provide the institutional strengthening that is needed. Belize also has access to law enforcement talent from other countries, notably the United States and Canada.

We should not be too proud to ask for investigative help if we need it. The United States Embassy in Belmopan has by its many contributions to law enforcement shown that it ready to help.

This newspaper has pledged, and we will not rest until the men who kidnapped and killed Anisha Young are caught and put on trial. The thought that the people responsible for this foul deed may get away with kidnapping and murder is repugnant to us.

We will continue to dig, and we invite others who think they can help to pitch in and help us to solve this shameful crime.

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