Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Mayhem in Trinidad and Tobago

Trinidad and Tobago is a beautiful twin island Republic which at the moment is spiralling out of control and is in severe danger of totally losing its credibility within the international community. Whilst some parts of the country look like this:

there is also an extremely dark side.  Following the recent assassination of prominent Senior Counsel Dana Seetahal, in typical Trinidadian fashion, rumours are flying.  Many believe the brutal murder of this 'giant' of a lady was meant to send a strong message to this country.  Many also believe that the drug lords are 'upstanding' members of the community and it is they and not the government who are running this country.

We stare corruption at all levels in the face every day.  People don't trust the police, government ministers or opposition leaders.  Some people buy their driver's licence and then die on the roads. Money passes hands in order to get things done. People turn a blind eye. Money laundering is the norm. People turn a blind eye.  Tenders and contracts are fixed.  People turn a blind eye. If they talk they will probably end up on a slab in the mortuary.

The murder toll for 2013, in a population of 1.3 million was 407.  Today we hear that there is a murder every seventeen hours and the toll for this year already stands at 172.

In 2013 a State of Emergency was declared in a bid to put a halt to the out of control murder rate.  It failed and once lifted, nothing changed. During the SOE, the merchants cried because their businesses were badly affected.  Takings and profits were down and no one here wants that even if it means a temporary lull in blood being spilt.

Law abiding citizens are afraid.  Afraid of the corruption, of the lies, of the crime, of being caught in the crossfire as wars continue and afraid that those at the top who are responsible for what is happening on the streets will never be caught and brought to justice.

Away from the beaches, the restaurants, the theatre, the appearance of normality on this island, the following is an insight into what is going on behind the screen.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Shouter Baptists, Vote Catcher and Lunch 2014

Before I try to compose the weekly Magpie I would like to share with you a little of the Trinidad and Tobago culture.

Tomorrow is Spiritual Shouters Baptist Day and is a Public Holiday in this nation.  We have a great many public holidays here!  The government also gives extra days when nationals make their mark world wide as in the case of cricketer Brian Lara breaking the world record with 375 runs and Keshon Walcott winning a gold medal at the London Olympics 2012 for javelin throwing.  I term these extra holidays as 'vote catchers' but in reality when it comes to General Elections, people forget what the government hope they would have remembered!

Rather than writing a repeat of a  past blog about this day, if you are interested, here is the link.

I will not be at home tomorrow.  A girlfriend is leaving for two weeks holiday  in Canada soon and her birthday will happen whilst she is away.  So a group of friends have arranged a birthday lunch tomorrow.  Great way to spend a Public Holiday - girls' lunch.  Haven't been to one in a while and looking forward to it.  

Thursday, 2 January 2014

2 Jan 2014 and Seven Murders.......

Trinidad and Tobago Crime News: Latest.

2013 ends with 407 murders which is higher than the two previous years. 

2014 starts with terrible violence in Trinidad & Tobago. The first murder was a 
Pastor and in the past 48 hours there were 7 murders alrea

So not yet quite 48 hours into 2014 and already seven murders have been committed. Oh yes, welcome to Trinidad and Tobago folks. It is difficult to determine who makes up the charts for world crime statistics s but last week according to one site, T & T ranks third in the world when it comes to Crime by Country. Venezuela heads the list, Guatemala second and South Africa fourth. The site is: 

On another site, in December 2012 we ranked # 8 in the world for homicides which translates into 47 per 100,000.

The US has rated crime in T & T as critical and recently the British government put out yet another damning travel advisory.  The tourist industry is suffering.

Whether the Crime Index Country by Country (note crime and not murders) is a correct indication or not, we are perceived by the outside world to be a hot spot, a major hot spot. Trinidadians on the whole, pooh pooh these figures and question their authenticity yet are afraid to move out of their homes after dark and will not venture into certain parts of the country in daylight never mind after the sun has gone down.

A great many of the murders are drug and gang related, quite a few are domestic and some are committed against children by someone known to them.

My concern is that many of the crimes committed go unsolved.  There is talk of corruption within the police force, the military and the government.  Many of the murders are definite 'hits' .  We have a great deal of work to do in this country although many believe that we are far too gone to even think of being saved.

T T is a beautiful twin island Republic with a culture and beauty that is envied world wide.   How long before we become the Haiti of the Caribbean?