Investigate Seaford Russell’s death

My brother Seaford Lee Russell was brutally murdered in La Ceiba, Honduras, 13 October, 2012, less than a month ago. It is less than a week since we laid him to rest.

I still am not fully facing this. To date, there has been no official investigation into his homicide. In fact, our family had to contact the RCIP about looking into the matter on our behalf. We had to do this a week after we were notified of his death. Imagine, a citizen of our country murdered in another country and our authorities did not make any inquiries into what we were told were perceived as apparent rumours the authorities had heard. We were advised the authorities were aware of the rumours on the same night we were notified, yet it took us contacting them, an entire week after.

What kind of country are we living in? What kind of government is running our country? What kind of law enforcement authorities do we have policing our Cayman Islands?

We have written an extensive email to various officials of the government including the premier, the chief of police, the governor’s office, the deputy governor, head of Internal and External Affairs and the UK where we are able to get contacts for and other ministers and MLA members. A high ranking police official visited our family approximately a week ago and took information. Not statements. Not yet, we were advised. We have confidence in this official but realise the final say does not rest there with that person. Yet, we have not heard any more on the matter to date, save the RCIP is trying to get information from Honduras, which is a country that is not cooperative with other countries.

Heaven’s sake – the Cayman Islands are a BRITISH territory! Britain is a member of the United Nations, The Hague and all other international organisations! Does this not say something? Our mother country is next if not bigger than the majestic USA. Why then do we sit and wait while twiddling our thumbs seeking information about the homicide of one of our own?

Our family is asking for your media to do an in-depth coverage of our brother/son’s murder. We are also asking for anyone who has any information about the homicide to contact the authorities, my brother or myself. There have been a large amount of rumours surrounding who took Seaford’s life and our family has heard of or assume of particular persons who had and expressed cause to harm Seaford, persons very close to him, so close it was as if sleeping with the enemy.

Recently we heard about the Filipinos and their government making inquiries regarding their rights and treatment in our country. We saw the young lady tragically disappeared who was in Cayman on a work permit; seems all measures were exhausted to investigate or adhere to these citizens’ rights. What about the three men from the Far East, was it? And the Cubans? When any national from any other country comes to our country and something happens, OUR government, OUR authorities, exhaust all measures and resources to ensure all grounds are covered regarding these citizens. Well then, what about our citizen in another man’s country? Are our citizens not entitled to protection and investigation also? This looks like this is going to become an issue of human rights, if this is what it will have to come down to. Because that is what it was/is for other persons. Their human rights. So is my brother/son’s human rights. His children’s human rights.

In my own view if resources can be used on a person who was in the Cayman Islands on a work permit, or can be used on gang members killing and murdering among themselves, why can’t our government spend resources to investigate a death of one of our own citizens who was murdered in another country? I am in no way diminishing or devaluing the deaths of anyone, at all, regardless, because NO ONE deserves to have their life taken by FORCE, or no family deserves to NOT HAVE CLOSURE, but what is good for the death of one is good for the death of all. Anyone who had their life taken by brutal force deserves to have their death investigated. Anyone. Surprise to know my brother is NOT the first Caymanian to be killed in a Latin American country. What was done? NOTHING!

Whether in our country or out of our country, once there is a connection!

What makes our brother/son/father/friend so less important than any other person or resident of the Cayman Islands, whether his murder took place in another country? We have not oppressed the media from covering this story but only asked from the start for all information to be accurate and verified with immediate family members, particularly mother and maternal sister and brother.

It should NOT matter WHY our brother/son/
father/friend was killed, because it didn’t matter what others who had their lives brutally ended taken by unnatural means were involved in: only to have their murders or deaths investigated is what should matter. Seaford deserves the same. His life was horrendously ended against his will. We know this. He was brutally and savagely murdered and he fought for his life; apparently placed strategically where the likeliness of him being found was almost nil. But to you who did it, who manufactured the plan, a Higher Power led us to his body. We buried our brother, our son, our father, our friend.

If this was YOUR family member what would you want to see happen, whether it was in the Cayman Islands, or anywhere else in the world? Murder is murder regardless of one’s stature and status. Our brother and son was a human being. AND we want to see his death investigated! We know this is within the means and resources of our police and government. If we never find the killer(s), it will not be for lack of our country’s authorities looking into the horrendous taking of one of our citizen’s lives. One can put their head on a chopping block if it was the brother or son of one of the RCIP’s officers, or members of government or parliament, no resources or money would be spared to investigate or travel to Honduras and have official or international intervention.

Well, my brother’s life was just as important. He voted. He was sane. And he gave to his country just like everyone else. We will not stop putting pressure on the authorities. I won’t stop, even in silent prayer. And like the Cuban who went on a starvation strike, I can do the same right on the courts or LA steps.

Please join with our family in using their fullest means possible to investigate the murder of Seaford Lee Russell.

Patricia Bryan

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2 COMMENTS

  1. It would go to reason that the Honduras authority would have generated a case file, and that our police will be updated on any progress.

    Justice is not always swift, especially if it is across borders, but it does not mean that justice is not being sought. Following is an extract from the FCO web page explaining their position;

    In all cases where you, as next of kin, have concerns about the circumstances surrounding the death, we suggest you get professional legal advice.
    Can’t investigate ourselves

    We cannot investigate deaths ourselves and, in many countries, investigating authorities and the courts may refuse to answer enquiries, including from British consular staff. If these circumstances, it is very important to consider appointing a local lawyer who can look after your interests in court and follow any trial for you.

    We will consider making appropriate representations to the local authorities if there are concerns that the investigation is not being carried out in line with local procedures; if there are justified complaints about discrimination against the person who has died or their family; or where we judge that a local delay or decision creates significant distress for the bereaved, ensuring that we do not interfere in the investigation or judicial processes in that country. We cannot interfere in another country’s investigation or judicial processes. You should be aware that the standard of investigative procedures and expertise varies greatly across the world.

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  2. Seaford’s family and mine have been neighbours for many years…never any issues with any of them.

    Sorry to hear of his passing.

    But Seaford’s family well knows the history of Honduras, as they are connected by familial ties, as are mine.

    Other Caymanians have lost their lives in Honduras and for whatever reasons, they will continue to as long as they continue the activities that they do in Honduras.

    Honduras is not the Cayman Islands; sometimes in some other countries, justice is swift and of the final kind…a kind of vigilante justice if you will.

    I wish Seaford’s family closure on his death and they have my deepest, sincerest sympathies.

    Other Caymanians should try to learn something from his passing.

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