Features — 25 October 2017 — by Audrey Matura-Shepherd
RIGHT TO THE POINT: Another man down… more shots fired … body laid out!

Continued from Page 9 of the Friday, October 20, 2017, Issue No. 3125 of the Amandala

The irony is even more political
But what irony too, that Queen’s Square division is one of the deadliest, crime-ridden areas of the old capital city! It is the constituency where the voters vote for Dean Barrow, despite him bragging that he does not even have to visit the area to campaign come election time, and that his sister, known as “Sista B,” is the general who commands the votes on his behalf! If you still don’t see the irony, then not even an eye operation will help!

In an interview on March 11, 2017, Barrow admitted, he does not need to visit the area to win the election when talking about handing over the mantel of the constituency to his sister. “As far as I am concerned I have publicly endorsed my sister who is really the one [that] has been running the constituency and who is really the one that certainly won the last election pretty much on her own. The last election I don’t think I visited one home. I didn’t have to go to one constituent. Sista B (of course I made sure that the people were taken care of), in terms of the personal touch, it was Sista B.”

Such irony in so many ways indeed, but such irony is magnified by the fact that the person who created “hot spots,” meaning crime-ridden areas, under the law, when he was Minister of Defence, was Dean Barrow! Such irony that the one man who does not have to visit even one constituent, yet wins every election, is political representative of one of the most violent divisions, in which he ironically does not live! Such irony, that the most senior activist on the ground is killed in the PM’s constituency and such irony that the last public denouncement made by Cattouse was against this very same Prime Minister, who mercilessly has hiked fuel prices! Ain’t life and death ironic?

“I am willing to bet my life that no UDP personally in the leadership of this party would ever do something like that.” That is the biggest joke to me because on the streets the political leaders don’t personally pull the trigger of the gun. Rather, they either command that the trigger be pulled or create the conditions of un-equitable distribution of resources that results in the way of life that produces these trigger-happy constituents. I now wonder if the killer or killers were Queen’s Square constituents or just happened to kill the man in said constituency?

He was executed!
I must admit that my inquiring mind really wants to know how the police know what the fare for Mr. Cattouse did and said prior to his execution. All indications are that it’s the police, per the PM, who were the ones who briefed him. And if the police know this, the police must either have the killer or one of the killers in custody; or this narrative was created to deflect from the true story; or the police just don’t know what happened, thus created a hypothesis. However, I still ask, how could the killing be as the PM narrates, when eyewitnesses say that there was one shooter, who thereafter was either picked up on a motorcycle or arrived on a motorcycle? If it was not pre-planned, how did the motorcyclist know where to pick up or find the shooter immediately after?

I even wonder how the killer or killers were able to get away so fast? And I wonder how come the motorcycle, on which they reportedly got away per earlier accounts, could pick up all three, if we accept that there were three of them? If the murder occurred as narrated by the PM, which gives the appearance that the killer(s) did not go to kill Bro. Cattouse, but only did so after he refused to take them where they asked, then it leaves me wondering how they could quickly hatch an escape from that scene involving a motorcycle? Did they run off on foot and in different directions instead? Was there even a motorcycle?

Furthermore, once a gun was pulled out and brandished, Bro. Cattouse could have easily been commandeered to a more isolated area to be killed. There were no signs of struggle by him, as all indications are that he died from one gunshot to the back of his head. That does not sound like him telling them to get out. That sounds like someone oblivious of his imminent death driving along, thus the reason the car ran into the drain! That sounds like a paid job to kill a specific, unsuspecting person. This per chance killing narrated by the PM does not augur well with me, because the physical evidence does not add up!

I hope his cell phone was checked and the call that got him out of his house traced, since his niece, Bernadette Cattouse, says he was home and got a call to go out! But truth be told, after hearing the PM trying to explain this case, I have more questions than answers, and I am not yet convinced that it is not Mr. Cattouse’s work as an activist that got him executed! He was a stalwart supporter of Citizens Organized for Liberty through Action (COLA), a vocal critic of Dean Barrow’s administration and a man who was not afraid to protest, give interviews and fully participate in exposing the corruption of this government.

Final act of activism
I personally met Mr. Cattouse and personally stood next to him in our many meetings and events addressing national issues. These ranged from the need to create ROC (Rod of Correction) to standing with the cane farmers, to demanding accountability for PetroCaribe monies to supporting the teachers. But very closely aligned to him were the backbone members of COLA, who know very well the level of commitment by the executed brother. Bro. Cattouse was an unwavering fellow who loved his country to death and always said he was willing to die for it. He fought for better because he felt the youths’ marginalized status was caused by the corrupt politicians. Yet in yet another irony, he is killed at the hands of the very youths he sought to liberate.

The last public stand that Bro. Cattouse took was on October 5, 2017 when he joined the call to protest the increase in gas prices brought on by the oppressive Barrow administration. He gave an interview denouncing this crisis: “The government have taxi men under pressure, because you have a lot of rental cars out there, you have family members out there and the prices that the gas are under you have to run for small fare. The people say they don’t have it, so taxi men are under pressure. I myself is under pressure too, but I try to work around the people and I try to monitor and I try. The prices are too high and like I said a while ago, this fight for crisis — we’ve been fighting this for over 10 years.”

It was always amazing that he took time out to actively participate in making a difference. He was not one of those who used Facebook or social media to complain… he got up and acted. Thus in honour of this executed brother, I call our people to action. If at age 72, Bro. Cattouse could keep standing up, why not so many of us who are young, educated, employed, or even marginalized? RIP, Bro. Cattouse; it was an honour to fight so many battles alongside you! I was always impressed by your vigour and enthusiasm!

(NOTE: The views of the writer are her own, and not necessarily those of this newspaper.)

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