In the wee hours of Monday, July 6, 2015, the life of a Belizean news reporter was taken via gun violence in Belize City. 27-year-old, Kareem Clarke, who wrote for the Amandala newspaper was shot five times on Vernon Street at around one o’clock as he was making his way home on bicycle after visiting a friend. While the investigators have gotten leads, there have been no arrests and no concrete conclusion as to the motive behind such a brutal killing. The loss of Clarke’s life has affected his colleagues from the various media houses around the country as many have attested to the humble, gentle and unassuming personality that he carried with him despite the stress or deadlines for his assignments. In an effort to not only remember Clarke, thirteen news reporters came together this morning inside the UNICEF’s Conference Room on Coney Drive in Belize City to discuss the establishment of the Kareem Clarke Memorial Fund and other activities that will promote literacy and writing as well as assist in feeding the less fortunate children in schools. Marisol Amaya, the News Director for KREM Radio is the spokesperson in this venture.
“I think Kareem, as unassuming as he was, he touched all of us and so today thirteen people from five media houses who could make it here for our first meeting, came to ensure that his death just doesn’t go just like that. So, what we decided to make Kareem’s life mean something to everyone and to just keep his presence there; I know that he will be in our memories forever but also to galvanize society, it’s a reality that we are facing right now that it was crime that took him away from us and we want to tell the people behind all these murders that. ‘you are hurting us’ and we want to tell you that, ‘ you need to stop’ and so this is basically to say that and what we’ve decided is to just galvanize the concept that the family seems to have close at heart which is the feeding program and so we decided that we will create a Kareem Clarke Memorial Fund and out of that fund we will contribute to the Saint Joseph Feeding Program. We will have a big event one time per year around Kareem’s birthday which is November 21st where we will be accepting contributions but we will also create an account for people to contribute but three times per year just to keep his memory alive we will organize a canned food drive at different stores and also a part of the big event we will have an essay competition where on that day the winner of that essay competition will be announced. As you know I’ve said before that Kareem wrote beautifully he was someone who rose to basically overcome his circumstances and show that he was able to overcome those circumstances and he became and all rounder learning reporting for the Amandala, reporting for Krem Radio he was a camera man and so many things in media and this is just to show that one young man coming out of a marginalized area of society was able to succeed in life.”
Meanwhile as it pertains to the investigation, we spoke with the Chief Executive Officer in the Ministry of National Security, Retired Colonel George Lovell, who assured us that investigators are on the case to find out who killed Clarke.
“It’s a very sad and unfortunate incident. The police are doing all that they can to try and get to the bottom of it to find out who is responsible and we will try and do as much as we can to find out who is responsible to prosecute them. The investigation is very fresh; I haven’t heard of any advance in the investigation just yet; I am hoping though that it will be quite soon before they can find out precisely who is responsible and bring them to justice.”
Clarke will be laid to rest on Saturday, July 10 at 2pm at Saint Joseph Church in Belize City. As it pertains to his murder, the Kremandala family has announced a four thousand dollar reward for information leading to the conviction of his murderers.