Gang Truce and January 2023 Murders UPDATE

Winston ‘Iston’ Bull, truce Orchestrator

It was heartwarming to learn about a truce between local gangs (we do have gangs in Barbados) orchestrated by players from the affected communities. The leader of the homegrown initiative Winston ‘Iston’ Bull and his team must be given all the plaudits. What is demonstrates is that we have the capacity to solve problems. We pray for the truce to hold and for similar community based initiatives to take root.

See the Nation newspaper video of Branch sharing his perspective on the initiative and related.

See Related Murder Stats from – Barbados Murder Statistics January 2023

54 thoughts on “Gang Truce and January 2023 Murders UPDATE

  1. Dealing with guns by dealing with ‘gunmanism’

    I really wanted to talk about these digital ID’s. But, the recently reported peace treaty between rival gun men got me.
    Congratulations to everyone involved. May it stick. Make it spread. Can we get rid of ‘gunmanism’ without anymore gunmen dead?
    It seems like it is easier to think about and conceptualise reducing guns and gunmen than it is to think about and conceptulise reducing ‘gunmanism’. We talk about getting guns off the streets and about reducing gunmen, not by transforming mentalities but by incarceration or capital punishment. “Lock dem up” and “hang dem” is the cry.
    The conversation about gun violence in Barbados usually centres around, on one hand, “how de guns getting hey” and on the other about “how de gunmen getting way.” Two important questions, but not enough. We also have to think about how to reduce ‘gunmanism’.
    Let’s add some complexity and context. These are the countries with the most guns per capita. First is the USA, then the Falkland Islands, Yemen, New Caledonia, Serbia, Montenegro and Uruguay.
    Here are the countries with the most gun homicides per capita. First is El Salvador then Venezuela, Guatemala, Colombia, Honduras and Brazil. Note that none of the countries in the top six with the most guns is in the top six list of countries with the most gun homicides. Obviously there are factors to consider in the proliferation of gun crime, besides the proliferation of guns.
    The Caribbean has the highest rate of gun homicides after Central and South America. Less guns per capita than much of the world, but more gun killings. Yes, reducing the number
    of guns on the streets is important. Yes, it will be important for law enforcement and the justice system to deal with perpetrators of gun crime. But, there is more to the picture than this. There is also the proliferation of the gunman mentality. This must be addressed or we will not incarcerate gunmen faster that we create them and initiate them into ‘gunmanism’.
    Latin America and the Caribbean follow only North America as the region with the highest percentage of its population in prison. According to, as of 2023 the Caribbean has ten countries in the top 30 nations with the highest rates of incarceration. Barbados is number 29 in the world, 10th in the region. Not only that, several of the countries in the region have overcrowded prisons. Haiti is at over 400 per cent capacity. Grenada follows at 233 per cent. This is according to Barbados, it says, is at 70 per cent. We are already locking “dem” up more than much of the world. And it’s not working.
    “Well start popping dem necks then,” some will argue. The irony of this position is that it reflects the same callous attitude towards black life that is seen in the gunman mentality it seeks to address. “Dem” is we children, we sons and grandsons. We raised “dem”. We schooled “dem”. “Dem” is we. They were initiated into ‘gunmanism’ on our parental, pastoral, political and pedagogical watch. This is not something we can fix with only prison time and popped necks. We need deep and radical transformations in mindsets. But the mindsets that have to transform are not only the gunmen’s.
    When we realise that education is for more than creating workers and employees, but also for cultivating whole human beings and active
    citizens, when we realise that culture and the arts have value far beyond their direct contribution to the GDP, that culture and the arts cultivate minds and consciousness, when we set our minds to the task of building a culture and society that supports a viable economy, when the lives of young black men matter enough that their deaths, whether at the hands of another young man or the hangman, is not something we so easily accept, then the gunman mentality and ‘gunmanism’ will start to whither.
    When these things happen not only will ‘gunmanism’ whither, but the economy and the society will start to bloom. ‘Gunmanism’ is the fruit of colonial systems and mindsets, that don’t truly appreciate what it means to be a nation yet. We still tend to see ourselves and each other as captive, exploitable, expendable resources. Which may be why those systems go unchanged and locking up or killing our own seem like solutions in the minds of so many.

    Adrian Green is a communications specialist. Email

    Source: Nation

    • The disappearing village
      By Ralph Jemmott

      It has been said that we grow nostalgic for the past because its suffering and pains are no longer with us.
      One of the phenomena we become nostalgic about is the entity we like to call The Village. The trope of Barbadian village life is one of a sense of community, sharing, looking out for each other and where in a sense the village helped to raise the child because any adult could chastise a misbehaving youngster.
      Misbehaving on road
      One evening I arrived home from Wesley Hall School to find my mother standing at the gate with an appearance that I recognised reflect her displeasure. When I asked what was wrong, she informed me that a lady had just told her that I, along with some other boys were behaving rowdily along White Park Road.
      She made it clear that I should ensure that it never happened again. Of course I never dared to ask my mother who the “malicious” woman was.
      There appears to have been two types of villages. One was the rural village as depicted by Hal Gollop in the recent CBC TV series. The other was the more urban or sub-urban type village in which I grew up. I grew up in two rather closely connected areas, firstly with my grandmother in the Kew Road in Tudor Bridge, St Michael, and with my parents in the lower Bank Hall/Eagle Hall district.
      The “village” of Water Hall Land connected the two areas. As a boy it was a source of pride to be able to run from my parents’ home to my grandmother’s house without stopping.
      In the 1950s, what seemed to distinguish a village like Brereton in St Philip from Eckstein or Carrington Village in St Michael was the plantation lands surrounding the rural village. The plantation lands, the cane fields seemed to determine much of the people’s social and economic connectivity to surrounding sugar estates and to each other.
      I grew up with no sense of the presence of sugar canes, the only canes
      I knew was the few plants that grew in the “ground” on the land my grandfather’s Panama money had bought. The property connected the Kew Road to the front to Olivees Gap at the back.
      The Crichlows, my mother’s family, also owned the land on the other side of the Kew Road connecting that road to Promenade Road. It was by no means a commercial peasant holding, my grandmother sold coals for a living. The canes in “the ground” were cut and peeled by our grandmother mainly for the grandchildren’s enjoyment as we gathered around her in the yard.
      Very much an urban family, we grew up with a sense of difference between town and country. When it was proposed that we would move from the chattel dwelling in Eagle Hall to my great uncle’s land’s in Airy Hill, St George, it raised quite a stir. “Not all the way up there”, we protested, because any place beyond Hothersal Turning was considered “country”.
      Given the obvious socioeconomic dislocations in contemporary Barbadian society, the prevailing trope about the ostensible benevolence of the village in those “good old days” is sometimes exaggerated.
      The Brereton Village that Hal Gollop described seemed a lot more connected and ordered than anything I knew. Recently, a secondary school principal called for a return of the community spirit of the village. The so-called village with its supposed blessings was the product of a kinder, gentler age.
      More specifically it reflected the values of that time that were reflective of the gentrification of the black working class through the Church, the attendant Church-schools and Sunday school. The black people, poor but gentrified, made the village, and the village in a symbiotic relationship, made the people.
      Shift in society
      The decade of the 1970s witnessed a serious shift in the tectonic plates that undergirded Barbadian society and culture. The quake and the tidal wave that followed has eroded much of the foundational values that made Barbadians
      the people that they were. The village to the extent that it existed has either disappeared or is disappearing.
      Civility and empathy are diminishing from the landscape. As the lady on Brass Tacks said, people seem to “have their hearts in the fridge”.
      Wish as we might and pray as we should, the values that made the cherished village life are long gone and unless there is some mass collective road to Damascus conversion, they are unlikely to return. The religiously inclined keep urging that we return to God, forgetting that God works through the human agency of good religiously inspired men and women.
      What Barbados needs most is the forceful imposition and inculcation of law and order based on fundamental morality, not a lot of political public relations, phoney sounding long talk.

      Ralph Jemmott is a retired educator and social commentator.

      Source: Nation

  2. As an elder in the community, he and others should know, that’s their roles.if not them, then who,….

  3. ” trope about the ostensible benevolence of the village in those “good old days” is sometimes exaggerated.”

    Couldn’t read it all. Let me strike a discordant note.

    As some look back with nostalgia and fond memories do they realize that for others they are describing a Barbados that never was? The idyllic village that they speak of was a nightmare foe some; a place where scorn was heaped on you because of your circumstances. A family illness, a lack of money, a ramshackle house became a source of scorn or created a dividing line between some and the village they live in. The idea that material things or having their child go to a good school made them better than you was the backbone of whatever philosophy they had.

    But I must confess that they were some in the village who were not blind or ignorant. I remember an old bicycle repair man calling me and asking me how I was doing at school. He would then urge me to get my game up and compete with my neighbor’s son as my neighbor always disparaged me. His words were fuel for my desire to succeed and I surpassed his charge (I know I did).

    We who lived it know it. And whilst some may wish for yesteryear, others are firmly determined never to recapture or to live in that ‘glorious’ past. Let them dream on, let them tell tall tales to listeners or even travel back to the ‘glorious’ past in their minds, but I cab assure you, they travel without me.

  4. I believe there is value in having some of us not joining in the national Kumbaya moments. In the ‘good old days’ the dissemination of information was in the hands of a few; and they, ‘the victors’, wrote stories and songs that made their actions noble and their motives pure and ignored the horrors they inflicted on others.

    But for a moment, technology gave all of us a voice. How you choose to use your voice is up to you, but hopefully there will always be some who choose to sing a different tune or even change the lyrics of the song.

  5. “What is demonstrates is that we have the capacity to solve problems.”
    Does it?
    Which problems have we been able to solve Boss?

    What this portrays to Bushie is EXACTLY why we DO NOT have the capacity to solve problems.

    Here we have for DECADES been paying millions of dollars annually to a bunch of politicians, civil servants and lawyers to address a national problem of gang violence – a problem which has been growing increasingly worse.

    Along comes an unknown community wise man who appears to have steupsed at the administrative folly, and casually addressed the problem in the most obvious and effective manner imaginable.

    The ONLY thing that this demonstrates is that this shiite place is doomed.

    While the TRUE leaders and problem-solvers are on the Blocks and in the ZR business, hoards of effeminate men and non-productive ‘men-women’ are being paid millions to put us further into debt, while running around making excuses for their ongoing failure…

    What next?
    Can we get one of the ZR conductors who’ll be displaced by the new cashless system to come up with a sensible transportation plan?

    …or perhaps form a committee of the now peaceful gangs to reform the shiite court system at last…?

    What a place…!!!

    • @Bush Tea

      I agree with your comments.

      ‘Iston’ is far from being “unknown.”

      However, he is well known and respected in the Orleans, Chapman Lane, surrounding communities….. and several other districts in Barbados.

      Despite his reputation, we should appreciate he took the initiative to meet with gang members.
      After all, he can ‘walk the walk and talk the talk.’

      I would even better if other ‘old school gangsters’ would join his efforts.

    • Artax
      Why should ‘other old school gangsters’ join with Iston to address problems pro bono …which we are paying politicians top dollar to deal with? Bushie never said that they were foolish…

      If we brass bowls had ANY sense, we would SELECT and ELECT people of his ilk to run the damn place – like the ‘elders’ did in our ancestral kingdoms…
      But instead, we have adopted the albino methodologies of choosing materialistic ‘talkers of shiite’ to lead us – instead of selecting wise, ‘DOERS of right’.

      So, since we are sowing folly, we can only reap shaving cream.

      BTW Artax…
      Given your propensity to talk shiite – how come you are not next in line to become PM…?
      ha ha ha

  6. “While the TRUE leaders and problem-solvers are on the Blocks and in the ZR business, hoards of effeminate men and non-productive ‘men-women’ are being paid millions to put us further into debt, while running around making excuses for their ongoing failure…”

    Ugly isnt it, hideous even……..weeee told yall, pretenders are not real leaders…can’t be both…’s outside the realm of possibilities..

  7. I find it strange that the Blogmaster would take down my comment revealing the truth.

    Isn’t Istanbul Bull a know cocaine dealer in Chapman Lane whose powder has been sold all over the island?

    • So @David, what is the point of reference re ‘Iston’s’ peace pact???

      I don’t know the brother nor do I discredit his efforts to forge the peace but it’s beyond cynical that I would laud John Gotti or let’s say Tupac if either of those gents had used their leadership status to calm warring factions of the Mafia or the warring rapper crews !

      Quite cynical considering that the same gents were part of the problem that started the mayhem.

      So kudos to the peacemakers fah sure but let’s get real.

      Just now maybe Xi will forge the peace with Russia and Ukraine just after he provides some destructive new tech to the warring parties … what a savior he will be too, wouldn’t he.

      Just saying, bro! The entire dynamic is truly brass-bowlery as the Bush Griot would tell us!

    • Judge: Deal swiftly with gunmen
      A HIGH COURT JUDGE has urged the prosecution to move swiftly to deal with firearm matters so that sentences on offenders can have the desired effect.
      Justice Laurie-Ann Smith-Bovell made the call as she noted that were it not for the almost 15-year delay in one gunman’s matter, he would have been sent to jail instead of receiving a fine as he had a previous conviction for ammunition.
      “The reckless and wanton use of firearms continues to have a devastating effect on society, causing a number of deaths and serious injuries to citizens, those involved in the warfare and to innocent bystanders,” she said.
      “There is a clear need to protect society from misguided and callous youths who disregard the sanctity of life. There is an equally compelling need to use sentences with a view of general and specific deterrence.
      “The delay in prosecuting the matter credited the now convicted man with a substantial reduction. Given the scourge of firearm offences, they must be prosecuted more speedily so that sentences imposed by the courts can have the deterrent effect that is intended,” the judge said.
      Justice Smith-Bovell was speaking as Davey Reynold Prescod reappeared before her in the No. 4 Supreme Court.
      Prescod, a businessman, of No. 1 Whitehall, St Michael, had pleaded guilty to having a .40-calibre semiautomatic pistol and eight rounds of ammunition on December 10, 2008.
      He was represented by King’s Counsel Andrew Pilgrim, while State Counsel Kevin Forde prosecuted.
      The judge fined him $15 000 for the firearm – $8 500 of which was ordered paid forthwith with the remaining $6 500 due in six months with an alternative of two years, 167 days in prison. He was also fined $2 500 in four months
      or two years 167 days in prison in default. The matter will be reviewed on June 2.
      Justice Smith-Bovell said she had not only considered the facts of the matter, but that the illegal weapon was capable of firing many rounds of ammunition in quick succession, that it had accompanying rounds of ammunition, the prevalence of such offences in society and that Prescod had a previous conviction for possession of ammunition.
      ‘Aggravating’ factor
      She also revealed that a “significant aggravating” factor was the “deliberate and meditative decision to retain the firearm after taking it from “Snoop”, knowing full well he had no right to have the firearm, especially in light of the fact that he had a previous conviction for ammunition.
      “The unlawful possession and use of firearms are a grave source of danger to society and can and are used to take lives, cause injury and further the commission of certain offences,” the judge noted.
      “And the circumstances in which [Prescod] came into possession of the firearm is exactly why we don’t have the right to bear arms, so you don’t have a shoot-out at OK Corral, in Whitehall or Green Hill or wherever it is in Barbados.”
      Guilty plea
      She said her objective starting point had been eight years but added she considered Prescod had pleaded guilty and had been deemed as posing a low risk of re-offending in his pre-sentencing report.
      Justice Smith-Bovell said she had also considered the delay in the matter and that the offence occurred in 2008 but was only indicted in 2020.
      “The court is of the view there are special
      circumstances in this case where a custodial sentence need not be imposed and, as an alternative, a substantial fine would meet the justice of the case.
      “The delay in having this matter prosecuted is what moved the court from a position of a custodial sentence in light of his previous conviction for ammunition to a fine,” she explained.
      The court had heard police were driving along Whitehall Road when they saw the vehicle, registration number MB 9102, driven by Prescod.
      They signalled him to stop, but instead of doing so, Prescod sped off. Police gave chase and saw when his car hit a curb and came to a stop. Prescod got out and ran. Police also got out and chased after him.
      As they were pursuing him along Johnson Land, Green Hill, they saw when he tossed a gun he was holding in his right hand over a paling. One lawman stopped in that area, while another continued the chase.
      Prescod ran into a bushy area in Johnson Land and disappeared. However, about ten minutes later, he emerged and was apprehended.
      Police took him back to where he had tossed the gun and there the homeowner came out and allowed the lawmen into his yard. Police later found a gun on top of a chicken coop.
      When they asked him to account for it, Prescod said: “That is the same gun I tek way from ‘Snoop’.”
      He was subsequently taken to District “A” Police Station where he told officers: “‘Snoop’ went to shoot me and I tek it way and I shoot he with it and I just keep it.”
      He later dictated a written statement. (HLE)

      Source: Nation

    • @Dee Word

      Why do we have to analyze everything to death? Branch was instrumental in forging a truce and that is all. His antecedents are irrelevant in the context of the discussion.

    • The blogmaster is unsure the relevance of Corey Lane’s intervention in the press at this time.

      Truce just the first step, says Lane

      A CEASEFIRE has been called in the bloodletting among warring factions in at least two St Michael communities, but that does not mean members may not have to answer for past criminal actions.
      This is according to Corey Lane, the minister heading the National Peace Project that laid the groundwork for the eventual coming-together of more than 200 men from the blocks and communities.
      “Thank God for this thing called separation of powers. So in terms of any judicial responsibility that these persons have for the state, that remains a matter for the Barbados Police Service and the judiciary. That is the remit of the Barbados Police Service and the judiciary and will remain that. I will not be interfering with that at all,” he said.
      Rather, the project will be looking at those who committed offences, paid their dues through time in prison but cannot get a police certificate of character, thus hindering them from things such as housing and jobs.
      “I’m not saying let us eliminate all records, but how do we treat to these records so that these people get a first chance or second chance in this society to be able to do legitimate business?” he asked.
      Last Thursday, rival members of “Choppers” from Chapman Lane, and “Red Sea” and “64” out of Deacons, both in St Michael, whom authorities believe were primarily at the heart of some public gunplay, met each other in Chapman Lane and agreed to a “truce”.
      “The truce is really among the guys. From what I have observed, there are a number of steps that we would like to see happen and those discussions will continue,” said Lane, Minister of State in the Attorney General’s Office with Responsibility for Crime Prevention.
      “It is really a first step but a big step in the grand scheme of things on the streets and how the streets are made up. Ending the war is just the first step and the main question society has to have on its mind
      is how do we make it sustainable.”
      Root causes
      He told the DAILY NATION the project was not just looking at non-violence, but the root causes such as trauma, lack of love and opportunities for economic enfranchisement, all of which were rooted in the education system and socialisation.
      “To get more to the nitty-gritty and more to the point, we got to start looking at what are the other positive goals of the people in these communities, what are their passion and purpose, and how we can bring empowerment to them and shift their mindset by training and employment.”
      As for the claims that meeting with those from the blocks and communities was legitimising them and their behaviour, the Member of Parliament for The City, of which Chapman Lane is a part, said the one thing “we can’t do is ignore different segments of our society”.
      “Jesus was criticised for this and He decided He was going to work with everyone – the prostitute, the tax collector – and I think it is the same thing with the National Peace Project team. They have decided that they will meet with all of society, all the players.
      “We’ve met with the police, we’ve met with the criminal justice partners, we are going into the prison. We have to hear from everyone in the society if we truly are to have an all-of-society, all-of-country approach,” Lane said.
      Former inmates rejected
      Snubbing people, he said, was a major part of how the country reached the current situation.
      The former talk show moderator said that during public forums over the years, former inmates spoke about how society looked down on them and “spit in their faces”.
      “Yes, they have to take personal responsibility [for their crimes] but this is why they separated themselves and why they do some of the things they do. Whether we legitimise them or not, we know what some of them out there were doing in their past and probably still doing in their present. But I do support the National
      Peace Project dealing with all segments of society because that is the only way we are going to solve this. If that is a different approach, so be it,” he said.
      The truce is being hailed by some as a good move. Winston “Iston Bull” Branch, under whose hand the last and decisive meeting took place, was also commended. So, too, was Lane for his earlier efforts.
      On Saturday, Ross Ashton, who is associated with the “Red Sea”, said Lane was also instrumental in bringing about the truce by listening to concerns and making the effort to meet the group’s challenges with an “understanding of the sensitive dynamic at play”.
      He said while there was a lot of “justifiable frustration” at Government’s inertia on tackling violence, credit must be given to politicians who put people over special interest and made the effort to truly resolve conflicts.

      Source: Nation

    • @David, it’s quite appropriate – if you so desire – to view this matter as you have that we ‘over-analyze everything to death’ and that “antecedents are irrelevant in the context of the discussion”. I choose NOT to be so blasé!

      In your path to peace you also seemingly profess to be “unsure [of] the relevance of Corey Lane’s intervention in the press at this time”, when in fact his entire commentary is so provocatively political. (A minister for Crime Prevention in the AG’s ministry who having replaced a previously ‘failed’ minister in similar capacity is now proactively dealing directly with CgEOs -Chief gangland Executive Officer – of the type who attended the opening of parliament; and you are “unsure” of his remarks)

      I KNOW that you (and team) are much more astute than your comments would suggest so I’ll leave this in summary form rather than explore further your rather chilled dismissive focus.

      Suffice to say again kudos and blessings to the peacemakers for they shall SURELY be called to ‘greater glory’.

      I dun wid dat. Peace.

    • @Dee Word

      An escalating crime situation in recent years obviously exposes the helplessness of authorities and wider society to stem incidence of rising crime. A man from the streets who knows the actors because he was in an earlier life a drug man now transformed must be seen for what it is, a ban-aide.

      Let us work with Branch and his team to build a lasting relationship with the actors and more importantly address systemic issues feeding deviant behaviour.

      Of course we want the street people to handover guns but they will not at this stage if one takes a pragmatic view.

  8. The man was able to negotiate a truce, others with flowery credentials have been unable. Why the hating?


    No hating I know him personally having spoken a number of times.

    However we should never gloss over the truth.

  9. @ Bush Tea

    RE: “If we brass bowls had ANY sense, we would SELECT and ELECT PEOPLE of HIS ILK to run the damn place – like the ‘elders’ did in our ancestral kingdoms…”

    I ‘said,’ It would even better if other ‘old school gangsters’ would join his efforts.”

    It is NOT a guarded secret ‘Iston’ Branch is a known DRUG LORD from ‘back in the day.’ But, that DOES NOT negate the objective he is attempting to accomplish.

    The other ‘old school gangsters,’ I suggested could ASSIST in achieving the desired objectives…… even those SAME ‘gang members’ for whom a truce is being negotiated……

    …… as well as the same “3 known drug dealers” that YOU and others LAMBASTED Mottley for inviting to the opening of Parliament……

    …… are are ALL “PEOPLE of HIS ILK”…… “wise, DOERS of right,” according to YOU.

    That “if we brass bowls had any sense, we would select and elect to run the damn place.”

    And, you have the audacity to ‘tell’ me ’bout “given (my) propensity to talk shiite?”

    It is clearly obvious that, at some point in time, ALL contributors, YOU INCLUDED, have demonstrated a “propensity to talk shiite.”

    I was also going to ask, “How come you are not next in line to become PM…?” But, then again, no.
    We would have the sense to OVERLOOK YOU and “select and elect” ‘Bounty’ instead.

    When “Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting,” rather than remain silent or move on, you ‘bob and weave, jabbing the air’…… floating like a butterfly, stinging like a, but lacking the ‘knock out punch,’ unlike Muhhamad Ali.

    ha ha ha
    murduh!!!…… “Bushie stylie’

    • Artax
      You may have the last essay…

      But first, please check the number of words used by Bushie… and THEN compare the number of chronicles that you used – ….all to say that we we saying the SAME shiite.

      Now tell us who is ‘runny’..
      ….and which Bushman ejects ‘goat rolls’…..

  10. Artax
    You could never talk as much shiite as Bushie…., but thanks mainly to Waru, you do it more fluidly (ie, yours tends to be ‘runny’)

    Unlike you, Bushie is unaware of who were ‘drug dealers’ and who are ‘drug Lords’. The SIMPLE point being made is that there are some people in our society who have a KNACK for solving problems and for getting things DONE, while the vast majority are shiite talkers and parasites.

    We have gone for the useless shiite-talkers, and rejected the ‘doers’ to work their magic on the blocks and the River Terminal.

    Moses was a murderer, and the great Apostle Paul was a wicked SOB called ‘Saul’. Guess who were called to lead the ancient Brass Bowls of the past to the promised lands…

    As to Bushie’s rejection from the shiite talk line-up…
    Good call – not stinking Bushie, wunna could go with Bounty….

    Bushie has already been hired…. ha ha !!

    • Bush Tea

      There you go!!

      ‘Coming off the ropes bobbing and weaving…… jabbing at air.’

      You ‘said,’ “Along comes AN UNKNOWN community wise man who appears to have steupsed at the administrative folly……”
      “…… and casually addressed the problem in the most obvious and effective manner imaginable.”

      I AGREED with YOUR comments.

      “The SIMPLE point I made was,” ‘Iston’ is FAR from being unknown.

      He is well KNOWN and RESPECTED in the COMMUNITIES where the onging violence keeps ‘raising its ugly head,’…… and BY THOSE INDIVIDUALS perpetrating the crimes.

      That RESPECT and being able to ‘walk the walk and talk the talk,’ enabled him, according to you…..

      …… to “casually address the problem in the most obvious and effective manner imaginable.”

      I went on to ‘say,’ “it would even better if other ‘old school gangsters’ would join his efforts.”

      One may find “a murderer” like Moses, or “a wicked SOB” ‘just like’ Saul, among those ‘old school gangsters’ (“people of his ilk”) …… who could ASSIST in further negotiating and quelling the violence.

      Apparently, you took a dose of ‘castor oli’ or some epsom salts…… because your shiite is “runny” as well.

      We are essentially using different words to make the same point.

  11. BTW, Bush Tea

    You asked, “WHY should ‘other old school gangsters’ join with Iston to address problems pro bono …which we are paying politicians top dollar to deal with?”

    You already ANSWERED that question. Because, ACCORDING to YOU:

    [1]. we have for DECADES been PAYING millions of dollars annually to a bunch of politicians, civil servants and lawyers to address a national problem of gang violence – a problem which has been growing increasingly worse.

    [2]. we have adopted the albino methodologies of choosing materialistic ‘talkers of shiite’ to lead us – instead of selecting wise, ‘DOERS of right’.

    [3]. If we brass bowls had ANY sense, we would SELECT and ELECT PEOPLE OF HIS ILK to run the damn place – like the ‘elders’ did in our ancestral kingdoms…

    [4]. the TRUE leaders and problem-solvers are on the Blocks and in the ZR business.

    After all, “Moses was a murderer, and the great Apostle Paul was a wicked SOB called ‘Saul’. Guess who were called to lead the ancient Brass Bowls of the past to the promised lands…”

    But, we all know you’re a RISIBLE guy…… the reason why you ‘came off the ropes, looking pretty, and jabbing at air.’…… PROVOKING the crowd to LAUGHTER and distract their attention away from the fact you don’t have a ‘knock-out punch.’

  12. “Why do we have to analyze everything to death?”

    My intuitive analysis is that is a Bajan trait
    for some but not all
    others like to shoot from the hip
    others display confirmation bias
    others are followers in cliques
    others like to false claim victory
    others like to big themselves up
    one of Bu’s biggest attractions is silly arguments

    BAU MO Business As Usual Modus Operandi
    if you look at gun and gang violence in USA
    then truces made by respected leaders is common practice
    rehabilitation of cadres is another tool in or out of jail
    intervention before jail is sought by social services
    when people are in the game it is more difficult to get them out
    elders and former gang bangers testify it is bad life where young die early

    • YES @Dub, that is and has always been the used methodology of life.

      Negotiations generally ONLY begin in earnest after some power base is established by one of the disadvantaged parties; one party has so devastated the other or the parties have reached the MAD point … and of course generally all of that can only begin oft times after much blood-letting.

      The community generated peace-pact has always been the first iteration of the kumbaya moment.

      Long may these dances exist … as it’s the only real path truly: demanding respect (a place at the negotiating table) ‘vi et armis’!

  13. I remember someone calling you “Bush Shiite.” That name speaks for itself.

    We all know you’re a RISIBLE guy……PROVOKING the crowd to LAUGHTER and DISTRACT their attention away from the fact you don’t have a ‘knock-out punch.’

  14. If you are talking of forgiveness of sins or of some charity then a priest would be good candidate to choose as a leader.

    We have seen that solving gun issues and murder with just police and government participation is folly; we know that this has not worked for years, but yest some are crying when out of ‘the box thinking’ is adopted.

    I hope “Average Joe” has the the sense to ignore false tears, the sense to know when no real solution is being provided, the sense to ignore sophistry and when a six is being presented as a nine.

    GoRoB-PF is in above way its head and needs help.
    GoRoB ministers are out of touch and believed the new flawed laws are the solution. They have no answers and can only amend laws or create new ones.

    I would suggest GoRoB-PF and GoRoB ministers first
    (1) thank the man for this start
    (2) then try to bring the process into their house (use his efforts to our benefit)
    (3) abandon their hammer approach to solving problems. To a hammer, everything seems like a nail.

  15. Times are serious.

    “Security guards shot dead in Portmore while loading ABM
    February 27, 2023
    Two security guards from the Guardsman Group were shot and killed while loading an Automated Banking Machine (ABM) at Portmore Pines Mall in Portmore, St Catherine this morning.”

  16. Artax,

    Bushie has bamboozled the blog with form over substance BIGLY. He has a way with words that can leave one in stitches. That often is as effective as a knock out punch. A belly laugh leaves one as helpless as a belly searcher….and the big difference is…it FEELS GOOD! Who really wants to get past the dopamine effect? Wuh, even Donna too love a skin teet! Took her a while to wise up to the sleight-of-hand!

    It actually took his prolonged absence to do the trick.

    At least it has been a long time since he’s been called a sage. (You’re welcome.) lol Sometimes he makes a lot of sense and sometimes he doesn’t, just like the rest of us.

    Old gangsters with street cred are the only people the gangsters can trust with ease.

    But who are the Mr. Big, Bigger and Biggest behind the rival gangs in the drug trade though? Do the Misters Big order the hits or do they occur organically?

    You seem to know a lot more than I do, so I await your response.

    Seems to me to be a most relevant question.

  17. As an aside, long have I admired the Barbadian flair for nicknames.

    “Iston Bull” is the best of the best!

    I’m guessing it refers to Istanbul, Winston and the Rasta “I” as well as the danger of the bull.

    Nice one!

  18. Will not even comment on the effort to grow the Barbadian population by 185,000 by 2050. Our current population is 282,000.

    Please keep two things in mind
    (1) in time these 185,00 will become elderly and
    (2) these young migrant will also have children.

    • Interesting to see all these comments. We have a scenario where a former gang boss was able to get gangs to stop shooting up the place when officials couldn’t,it is not the best scenario but it is what we have at the moment. Officials have to find a way to credibly add a voice to the process.

      Gangs urged to apologise

      A YOUTH AND FAMILY counsellor is calling for gang members to issue a national apology to Barbados.
      Roger Husbands, the director of Drug Education and Counselling Services, said while the recent truce was a good first step, it was not enough.
      The counsellor, having spent decades dealing with individuals suffering the after effects of drug abuse and violence often linked to gang activity, said he wanted to hear some form of apology made to the youth and the people of Barbados.
      “I applaud the effort to get those old gangsters together, those seasoned men who started this whole process in Barbados selling drugs and such but if they are looking to make a change then what I am saying is ‘what is next?’ How are they going to right their wrongs? Are they going to start community programmes for youth and tell them ‘hey I was an exgangster but here is a better way’? Are they going to start businesses for the youngsters who are now seasoned in these gangs?
      “One of the first things I think they need to do is say ‘we are sorry’. They need to repent. It’s not just about coming and meeting, it’s about saying to Barbados ‘we apologise, we’re sorry for what we have done. We were desperate for money and needed to feed our families and
      we thought selling drugs, starting gangs and thieving and robbing were the ways to go but we were wrong and Barbados, we apologise’. That’s what should have been said already. Why hasn’t anybody apologised?” he asked.
      Last week, more than 200 men from different blocks and communities gathered in Chapman Lane and vowed to end the “war” between them. The meeting was arranged by 64-yearold Winston “Iston Bull” Branch, who gave the credit to the men who agreed to come together and put the past behind them.
      Husbands admitted those families hurt or destroyed by gun violence and drugs would be hard pressed to forgive but he said it was important to at least make the gesture if the truce was to have any real meaning. He said he might be speaking too soon in case there were already plans for this to happen. He, therefore said for now, he would wait and see.
      The counsellor also suggested the gang members who were part of the truce form a committee with a spokesperson to make this national statement.
      “I am hoping in the meetings to come and I hope there are more meetings planned, to hear this, not just to leave it as it is now. I am happy the old gangsters met but they need to apologise before they leave this earth.
      They need to tell youth they went along the wrong path,” he said.
      Husbands said he was speaking subject to correction but from his information, the key players in the gangs did not attend the meeting and he wondered if there were any plans to approach them and get them to also join the bargaining table.
      In 2017, Husbands made a call for anti-gang legislation. He said his stance had not changed, however, noting things were different now.
      “The problem is gangs have moved away from having identifiable symbols. We still have a major issue with youngsters who are getting together and committing crimes, not just here but in the region and the world. We are seeing the consequences of social media and certain music. At Drug Education and Counselling, we are seeing some good results in our programmes but more must be done,” he said.
      The director said this was why they had partnered with churches and were working on plans aimed at saving youth from gangs and violence.
      “People say the churches are not doing anything but I want them to know the churches are addressing this problem, first within the church and home and then outside. Hopefully within a month or two we will be rolling off the plans,” he said.

      Source: Nation

    • It seems this editorial lays alot of blame on the police. Where was the big discussion when the previous government ignored the replacement of scanners at the Port for example? What about the inefficient court system and laws which allow individuals charged with serious crime to be out on bail? What about John and Jan Citizens who refuse to report criminal activity in neighbourhoods the result we see garrison like culture developing in Barbados?

      Truce raises questions

      WHILE THE PROSPECT of peace between warring factions should always be news to rejoice about, sometimes it comes with a level of scepticism.
      This is the case with the reports over the weekend related to the Red Sea and Choppers, two warring gangs in St Michael from districts in which the police have had many high-profile and constant encounters.
      The gang leaders understand the need to end the death and violence that plagued their communities and are motivated to protect their families and friends from indiscriminate shootings and targeted attacks. Any lasting ceasefire will provide relief to residents living under constant fear.
      But, this particular peace agreement raises several troubling questions that the police must address publicly given the trauma and uneasiness the entire country has been coping with because of the upsurge in gun crimes and drug-related activities.
      So serious was the situation
      that the Government went back to Parliament this year to toughen the laws related to the illegal possession of firearms and for those found guilty of crimes involving the use of such weapons. There was a sustained public outcry for tough action against this lawless element.
      The Barbados Police Service is under pressure to suppress and wipe out the illegal guns and has had to secure help from the Barbados Defence Force in joint patrols.
      Some question the role of the police in this development especially since more than 200 members of these gangs were reportedly gathered in one location.
      This is in the context that the constabulary has repeatedly indicated that it was closely monitoring the gangs across the island.
      While we welcome the reports that a halt has been called to the shooting and mayhem caused by these criminal gangs the real concern for us is how many illegal guns, ammunition and any other weapons were handed over to the police.
      In this instance, we wonder what are the rules related to negotiating with these groups and the ramifications. Of course, we must still
      wait to see whether this Chapman Lane/Deacons plan is a success since it will require support from other organised syndicates and profound changes within their communities and be not a mere cosmetic event.
      We note with interest the comments of the Minister of State in the Attorney General’s Office with Responsibility for Crime Prevention, Corey Lane linking the National Peace Project and the need to reach out to all segments of society to what Jesus Christ did while on earth.
      During this Lenten season, as many Barbadians observe and commemorate the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we hope the peace deal reached by the gangs is no 40-day wonder.
      While we welcome the reports that a halt has been called to the shooting and mayhem caused by these criminal gangs the real concern for us is how many illegal guns, ammunition and any other weapons were handed over to the police.

      Source: Nation

  19. @ David
    This editorial is indicative of the pathetic lack of analytical skills in the fourth estate of Brassbados.
    The simplistic analyses with which we are bombarded daily is a clear indication that, even if we could rid ourselves of the idiots currently in charge, it is unlikely that we will be able to do any better. (as we have discovered since dumping the DLP clowns in 2018).

    There is a ROOT cause for every shiite.
    The ONLY proper solution comes when the ROOT cause is identified, and corrected. Everything else is trial and error – and often makes the situation even worse.

    Those Gangs exist and thrive because we have created the most STUPID education system possible – one that promotes mendicancy, feminism and conformance to the status quo (Yes Sir , Yes Ma’am, Please) and that DISCARDS true creativity, bravery and MANHOOD to the blocks and the ZR culture, while Mr ‘educator’ Sir Cave Hilary, runs around begging the world for ‘reparations’…

    ‘Surprise surprise’ that 20 years later, the Gangs now decide if there will be war or peace in Brassbados….depending on what suits THEM.
    The ‘Police’ are mostly a bunch of docile school ‘successes’ who lack street smarts, and can even be forced to pay for the meals at their training center.

    …meanwhile, The best efforts of the Ministry, the Police, the Courts, Press, the church, and Mia ..have been UNABLE to get the ZR culture to conform to ANY rules…

    A PROPER education system would have identified such TRUE leadership talent from PRIMARY school and honed those NATIONAL RESOURCES to take up the leadership of this country….. (REAL) Men like I’ston and many others now seen as ‘threats’ to society…

    Instead, we see a bunch of emotion and intuition-driven women and mock men floundering hither and yon with meaningless shiite issues such as ‘Apps to monitor school meals calories’ or ‘surveys to see how many children know about bulling’….
    Do we even have 10 worthy in the whole damned place that could merit us avoiding the fate of Sodom and Gomorrah?
    Bushie is doubtful….

  20. The failings of Iston Bull
    “Perfection is the enemy of the good”
    You gain an inch, they say you should have gained a mile.

    Rather than take what Iston Bull Grant delivered and worked wit it, they demand that his brother Shit Bull Grant be also involved
    (1) Iston is himself a ‘bad guy.
    (2) He should have asked that they surrender their guns. How many guns did you recover ‘Mr Bull’
    (3) The gang leaders should apologize to the people for their crimes
    (4) The gang leaders should deliver a message to the young people condemning their own behavior
    (5) Gang members should now be campaigning across the country trying to get people to turn in their guns
    (6) Some key players were not at the meeting. Mr Bull why didn’t you go out and drag them in?
    (7) What are the next steps ‘Mr Bull’? ‘Mr Bull’ you need to stop messing around and solve this problem; GTFOH with your silly meeting.
    (8) ‘Mr Bull” what are the rules related to negotiating with these groups and the ramifications.

    Having read all of these comments, it is obvious that Bajan prefer that Iston brother ‘Shit Bull’ be put in charge of these meetings. It amuses me how ineffective do-nothingers would attempt to throw piss on “Mr Bull’s” effort. The flap their lips and do nothing; one guy tries to do something and they cuss him out.

    it’s your turn now, Shit Bull.

  21. It appears that the ‘Iston’ effect is lasting longer than expected.

    A bold and beautiful initiative is being wasted. Anointed and appointed ones cannot accept help from outside of the clique.

  22. It looks as if there is still a beneficial residual effect to the ‘Iston’ initiative.

    Why do I get the impression that those on power will not make use of this effort. They will wait until ‘things fall apart’ and then rush in with their studied nonsense.

  23. I have noticed a number of articles in BT that indicate methamphetamines is or may be becoming a problem in Barbados.

    Police must also be on the lookout for fentanyl. They say fentanyl (a synthetic opioid) is -‘up to 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine’.

    It is cheaper to produce than other opioid and because it is so powerful it is easy to smuggle as smaller amounts are needed to provide the high.

    in full support of RoBPF on this issue.

  24. Did anyone notice that there was a shooting in Barbados yesterday (05/02/2023)?
    This brings to mind several questions:
    (1) Has the “Iston Bull” effect worn off?
    **It lasted 3 months but no one expected it to last forever.
    (2) Have government officials made use of this truce and try to bring calm/peace to the country?
    (3) Or did ego, arrogance and petty jealousy stop our officials from making use of the “Iston Bull” truce?
    (4) What will happen when the shootings starts again? Will we see a repeat of “old talk” and doing nothing?
    (5) Is this problem outside of the understanding of our law enforcement officials?

    • Do we live in a utopia? We have had one murder in several weeks. Please do not be a drama queen.

  25. The instruction to make use of the ceasefire in some way is seen as alarmist.

    Watch how they bury their heads in the sand. When things fall apart you will hear the gnashing of teeth.

    We need a national bird …

  26. ” Lawmen report that at about 1:50 a.m. on Friday, June 16, 2023, along Worthing, Christ Church a man was walking in the area of the Republic Bank, Worthing, Christ Church when he encountered two males dressed in all black and ski masks, pointing a gun at him.

    One of the men shot him in his right thigh. The men then ran off and left the area in a white motor car.”

  27. @ TheOGazerts,

    waiting to hear from Iston Bull whose brokered peace deal worked for a few months.

    Of course it is NOT his responsibility to do the jobs of the authorities like the AG, Commish etc.

Leave a comment, join the discussion.