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.