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Jul 6, 2020

Murdered Five Years Ago and Still No Justice for Kareem Clarke

Kareem Clarke

Five years ago to this date, Kareem Clarke was gunned down in Belize City. The journalist was heading home on his bicycle when he was met by gunfire. Like so many other murders, Clarke’s killing remains unresolved and justice has eluded his family over the years.  Today, his sister painfully recollected the events of a bungled case that fell apart and charges were dropped against the only suspect. News Five’s Hipolito Novelo reports

 

Hipolito Novelo, Reporting

It was five years ago, on this day, that Amandala journalist Kareem Clarke was murdered.

 

Melanie Young, Sister of Deceased

“Last night was a restless night for me because I know it was going to be five years today.”

 

Clarke was on his bicycle when he was shot multiple times at the corner of Lakeview and Vernon streets. The murderer pounced on him in the wee hours of the morning when the unsuspecting twenty seven year old journalist was riding home after a long day’s work. The news of his murder was shocking five years ago, today this family still doesn’t know why he was killed.

 

Melanie Young

Hipolito Novelo

“Did you ever learn why it was that they killed Kareem?”

 

Melanie Young

“I have no idea because everything was on his person because I was the one who went and indentify him, everything was him. Phone, tape recorder. He didn’t have any money from him.”

 

Mark Waight

There is no mistake, Clarke was the target. His killer was waiting for him and knew where and when to strike.

That killer was first suspected to be Mark Waight who was arrested and charged when he was a minor. In 2019, he stood trial but was freed of the charge after the main witness failed to appear and when she did, she told the court that she was high on weed on the night on the murder and police convinced her to give a statement and cooperate in exchange for the drugs she had been busted with.  To make the matter worse, her statement was not allowed and Justice Williams upheld a no case submission.

 

Melanie Young, Sister of Deceased

“I got to know in the evening that this guy walked off and the circumstances, what I heard that wasn’t a case really put together because the evidence was apparently there. They said they had the gun and this and that. I don’t know how the case was thrown out because apparently they bribed some lady to say that they saw this young man killed my brother and I don’t know.”

 

Hipolito Novelo

“I think she said that at that time she may have been smoking marijuana so her thoughts weren’t coherent or clear.”

 

Melanie Young

“Yes, that is what I heard.”

 

Hipolito Novelo

“Is it frustrating for the family that particular part of the case and with the prosecution and justice of the peace not written down correctly?”

 

Melanie Young

“Yes, I was very upset about it especially after Commissioner Chester Williams ‘we know exactly who killed Kareem’ and there is no kind of justice. There wasn’t any justice at all. There apparently isn’t any justice in Belize.  People have come to us and tell us the real story, what happened.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I am Hipolito Novelo.


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