The following letter was sent to the Minister of National Security, Michael Weeks, by Duane Santucci, who has been vocal via social media audio links as a concerned Bermudian on gang and gun violence…

Greetings Minister Weeks, Bermuda Government, Bermuda Ministerial Clergy, Bermuda Community Activist’s.

Please permit me as a concerned Bermudian and a community activist to speak directly to Minister Weeks as the newly appointed Minister of National Security and the remainder of you as onlookers.

I am very thankful for the appointment that you have been given and I am choosing to write this correspondence with hope that all stakeholders of our Country, Community and Society will put aside all political, religious, and community differences and come together and join with you in a meeting that is very urgent and must be done rather sooner then later.

Newly Appointed Minister of National Security, Michael Weeks

Bermuda in recent years has been under siege and we are experiencing an even greater outbreak of violence, much of which does not get reported by our local press but still makes it’s rounds on social media, the act of violence with bladed articles have been increasingly alarming as the attacks are on the rise, the careless acts of gun crimes has increased drastically and unfortunately resulted in far to many deaths.

Unfortunately Bermuda has not seen a decreased in violence during the COVID19 era of the last two and a half years, if anything it has steadily increased and it’s time that all stakeholders man their post taking full responsibility of what has spilled out into our community and it is the hopes of many, that each of you will address this matter from a realistic point of view and not from a superficial watered down bunch of rhetoric as we have so often seen in times past. There are many of us within the Community that have many ideas of resolve but it will require all within our reach to do their active parts, but we must first start with real talk and that will require much constructive criticism.

Our failure to deal with this matter is straight forward and its imperative that the key stakeholders take full responsibility of their lack of leadership and the lack of skills required to deal with everyday crisis that has found itself having a grave impact on our Family structure, our homes and eventually it spilled out into the community. Pastor Terrence Stovell many years ago made a statement that has never left me, The ill’s in our society is not the Government’s issue to deal with, it’s the responsibility of the Church to address and it’s the Government’s position to help the Church maintain the balance the Church seeks to strike within the Community.

Thus this brings me to the point of your gang reduction facilitator Coordinator in the person of Bishop Leroy Bean, while I can appreciate the position he holds to be a very serious one, I think over a period of time he has lost his way, because he has served the people and the community from the heart as a part of clergy and somewhere along the way, he lost his way and he is serving David Burt as the Premier of Bermuda and his government agenda, which does not in my book hold the concerns of the majority of the community. Bishop Bean needs to reevaluate his commitment to the people of Bermuda and not just to David Burt’s agenda as a Premier who seemingly has more interest in other matters, that doesn’t benefit the wider community.

Former Minister Wayne Caines with Pastor Leroy Bean

I have many more who I can highlight but I don’t think it’s necessary in this correspondence, but I must highlight every single member of parliament, every Government Minister, every backbencher, every member of the opposition, and religious leaders whom I feel has drastically failed our community and most importantly, the voice of the community activist in our community who have gone drastically silent, and/or has been silence by the David Burt administration. Minister Weeks I don’t mince my words when I say it’s past time that the Church be The Church and put down their banners and put aside their differences and join with you to dialogue this growing trend of lawlessness within our community.

The Hon Dr Ewart Brown took this same approach many years ago with the clergy and warned them that Bermuda’s greatest problems in society was the Churches inability to be The Church, what a far cry of the past that has the same impact in today’s society and I include into this correspondence all Church leaders, even those who have asked me not to include them in email correspondences, because they are subject to God first and mankind second and the oath they took has no different impact than that of a political leader, you are to serve humanity and God equally.

Minister Weeks I wish you well and I only wish that I could join in on this meeting that is considered most urgent and has to be called immediately, I would suggest that you inquire about the use of The Heritage Worship Center or The Chapel of The Anointing with Bishop Vernon G. Lambe, where the seating capacity is more than sufficient, so that we can get on with this dialogue, and to each of those of you who receive this correspondence, Please govern yourselves accordingly and change whatever you have to make this meeting take place and be a part of the process of bringing about the change our Country needs. 

Mr Duane P Santucci