With his funeral services set for Saturday afternoon in Belize City, we end this week of news as we began it, honoring the late Kareem Clarke, viciously targeted in the early hours of Monday at the corner of Vernon and Lakeview Streets. Today’s Amandala newspaper announced that the organization will offer a reward of $4,000 for information leading to the arrest and capture of the 27-year-old’s killer. It noted that Clarke, quote, “was ambushed by a lone gunman as he rode his bicycle. Surveillance footage from the area shows that a police mobile arrived on the scene just five seconds after Kareem was shot. A minute later, a second police mobile arrived at the scene. So far, no arrest has been made, and police have yet to determine a motive for the murder.” The newspaper’s editorial suggested that some consider the murder to be “a message to Partridge Street,” and citing the history of popular resistance in the country since 2004 and the dichotomy of PUP disenchantment with the media and UDP wariness at attacks by enemies, not to mention potential involvement by foreign agents, it concludes, quote, “We do not consider the cold-blooded execution of Kareem Clarke to be a simple, straightforward Southside murder. There are things which trouble us here. Perhaps this was the intention of the sacrifice.” But all of that is a backdrop to today’s meeting of members of the press at the office of UNICEF on Coney Drive. They were there to begin the building of our late colleague’s legacy. He is fondly remembered by all as a quiet and humble giant, who let his volume of work speak for him. At the end of the meeting we spoke with news editor for KREM Radio/Television and frequent Clarke colleague Marisol Amaya who pointed out that standing up for Kareem involves standing against the circumstances and persons who took him away.
Marisol Amaya – News Editor, Krem Radio/Television
“As you rightly said, Kareem, as unassuming as he was. He touched all of us and so today 13 people from 5 media houses who could make it here for our first meeting 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 know just to keep his presence there. I know he will be in our memories forever but to also galvanized society – it’s a reality that we are facing right now, it was crime that took him away from us and so, we want to tell the people behind all these murders, ‘you are hurting us and we want to tell you that you need to stop.’ so this is basically to say that.”
The family has asked that in lieu of wreaths, flowers and cards, contributions may be made towards the feeding program for St. Joseph R.C. Primary School in Belize City, which will be collected at the funeral service. Amaya says that a special fund will be created for continuous contributions to this cause, and his writing contributions will also be remembered
What we’ve decided is to just to galvanized 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 St. Joseph Feeding Program. We’ll have a big event one time per year around Kareem Clarke’s birthday which is November 21st, where we will be accepting contributions, but we will also create an account, that’s the purpose of the fund for people to contribute, but 3 times per year just to keep his memory alive, we will organize a can 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 because I’ve said before that Kareem wrote beautifully. He was someone who rose to overcome his circumstances and show that he was able to overcome those circumstances. He because an all-arounder learning reporting for the Amandala, reporting for KREM radio, for KREM television…he was a cameraman, so many things to media, and this is just to show that this one young man coming out of a marginalized area of society was able to succeed in life.“
The funeral is slated for Saturday at 1:30 p.m.