Opinion: Outrage (on the Lars de Vries suicide circumstances)

POSTED: 05/23/14 8:59 PM

It is more than understandable that family and friends of the late Lars de Vries are outraged about the circumstances that resulted in his suicide. To live with the idea of losing a friend to incomprehensible circumstances beyond one’s control is frustrating. To realize that there were probably alternative and interim solutions possible, only increases the intense sadness surrounding this unfortunate situation.

Lars de Vries made a personal choice to end his life – everybody is aware of that. At the same time, the prevailing sentiment among those who mourn the loss of this brilliant mind is that decisions taken by others drove the candidate-notary to his final decision.

Those who will in the end step into the shoes that seemed destined for Lars de Vries to fill, will have to live with this history. But those who took the decision to deny De Vries his appointment also have a heavy burden to carry.

Saba’s Will Johnson said it in very few words. Had he been the one to put someone in a situation that ended in suicide, he would never be able to sleep again. In this sense, the ball is squarely in the court of Justice Minister Dennis Richardson who deviated from the nomination by the Common Court of Justice for reasons, as he explained earlier this week in this newspaper, that have nothing to do with skill.

There is no doubt that Lars de Vries would have made a more than capable notary. He was the court’s number one candidate, the man with the most experience. The only, and with hindsight crucial, shortcoming he had was that he was not born in St. Maarten. To his friends he said in the weeks before his death that he was being discriminated because the powers that be wanted a black candidate.

When he was driven from his office earlier this month, it must have dawned on De Vries that he would never become a notary – the field he was dedicated to with heart and soul.

Is that a reason to commit suicide? For Lars de Vries, it was. It is not his decision that leaves a bitter taste in many a mouth. That dubious honor goes to those who killed his career.

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