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True Silk: What Dana’s passing means to T&T

If the assassination of Senior Counsel Dana Seetahal is a wake-up call to you; then something’s wrong with you.

If a little boy being raped and killed in a swimming pool at a birthday party wasn’t a wake-up call then, Dana’s assassination can’t wake you up to nothing. You’re in denial long time and using your moral panic over this latest killing to soothe your general inertia.

Or, you could be a member of the cocooned and protected upper class who only gets hysterical when you realize crime doesn’t just exist “Behind D Bridge” or along the distant edges of the East/West corridors in the Malabars and La Horquettas of their imaginations. And then, if you’re a member of that just awakened group, it must suck to be you; having all those resources and still can’t ward off death.

Photo: Dana Seetahal SC was gunned down in Woodbrook in the wee hours of Sunday morning.
Photo: Dana Seetahal SC was gunned down in Woodbrook in the wee hours of Sunday morning.

Seetahal’s gruesome and shocking death is a marker. The act, along with its location on Hamilton Holder/O’Connor Street, will become part of a macabre and grisly list of checkpoints that heralded our descent while we sat, shell-shocked and panicked, waiting for someone else… not us… to take back our power in this country.

It will join markers like the Scott Drug Report, the 1990 Coup and the subsequent court ruling in favor of the Muslimeen. It will join the rise of the Muslimeen as a group that was consistently awarded State contracts as part of every sitting Government’s secret crime initiative, whether PNM, UNC or PP. It will join the Crowne Plaza agreement, the illegal SoE, Section 34, email-gate, Ish and Steve and a very long list of markers that all point to us descending in narco-state fourth-world hell.

You hear it on the lips of citizens all the time: “Here getting like Mexico”, “Here getting like Colombia”. We not getting folks, we reach. That is what Dana’s death means; final destination point.

When a State Prosecutor is murdered in cold blood like that, in a country that is already awash in drugs, arms and human trafficking and has a corrupt and compromised police force and government; know that we reach. We’re not heading to hell anymore. It is here.

Photo: Actor Denzil Washington is gunned down in critically-acclaimed movie "Training Day." Seetahal's own passing was reminiscent of a gangster hit.
Photo: Actor Denzil Washington is gunned down in critically-acclaimed movie “Training Day.”
Seetahal’s own passing was reminiscent of a gangster hit.

It takes only one high profile murder like that to happen and go unsolved and you know we have arrived. Trinidad now has two: Selwyn Richardson in the 90s and Dana Seetahal in the early part of the 21st century.

This is not to minimise or negate the murders, assassinations and senseless killings of so many thousands of citizens in the last decades. But, let’s face it. As a member of the legal profession and the wealthier upper classes, a society assumes Ms Seetahal will be safer and more protected, for all manner of reasons.

Her assassination in an upscale residential/commercial neighborhood at midnight is meant to send a message. And I’d vouchsafe from the social media reactions yesterday: message received.

We woke up Sunday morning knowing in a very concrete way, maybe more so than before, that a message was being sent to the legal profession, journalists, columnists, activists, anyone bold enough to question the criminal and corruption status quo.

Toe the blasted line; or this will be you.


Editor’s Note: Please click HERE to read the conclusion of this commentary and enjoy the blog in its entirety.

About Rhoda Bharath

Rhoda Bharath
Rhoda Bharath works as a lecturer by day and remains obsessed with politics by night. Follow her blog here: https://rhoda-bharath-jxtv.squarespace.com/

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  1. This article is spot on! It’s not a matter of downplaying her assassination but rather the way in which other serious crimes in this country were not dealt with with the same level of urgency.