“As citizens, we have been gun-whipped, shell-shock and shellacked into submission by these ‘monsters’, who roam night and day seeking out their next victim. They have shattered our once peaceful existence and turned us into persons who are distrustful, skeptical and paranoid.”
The following Letter to the Editor on Trinidad and Tobago’s startling murder rate was submitted to Wired868 by Mr Salaah Inniss of Santa Rosa Heights:
How many more must die? [And I am referring to] our citizens, who are innocently murdered, rape and kidnapped by ruthless and wicked fiends, every day, month and year.
The overwhelming tally is staggering and even as the year draws to a close we have had over 430 murders!
As I write a twenty year old young woman was brutally murdered; her body found in a retail outlet in the capital city. Many more persons are voicing their opinions and making statements condemning this incident and rightly so.
Our country is angry; people are disconsolate and jaded and are asking: When will this all end?
What immoral and malevolence has befallen our once beautiful country?
Of course we have had senseless killings before—we weren’t a utopia devoid of this bloodshed. But how did we arrive at this point where statistically there is a murder-a-day? Who should take responsibility for the carnage we are seeing every day?
Is it that our police service is incompetent to handle these crimes? Is it that the judicial system is inefficient? Or is it lack of legislation and political will?
What about the media? Is the media partly responsible because of ineffective investigative journalistic skills? What about the ‘third sector’—Civil Society?
Should these groups and activists increase robustly public debate on issues surrounding our judicial system—or the long delay and implementation of a commissioner of police or of government’s yearly budgets allocation for national security where there is, by any stretch of the imagination, no tangible return on investment?
Some may argue—and with empirical findings—that it takes too long for prosecution and conviction and may suggest that it is the way our court system is designed. (Hopefully not deliberately so).
But we all know that an effective judiciary guarantees fairness in legal processes and that it’s a powerful weapon against exploitation or even corrupt practices.
Yet people’s experiences in our court system are often far from fair. Court efficacy is crucial. We have heard about backlogs of cases and the potential or even the opportunity to create demands for bribes to fast-track a case or even adjournment. There are even some countries where Court personnel can be paid to slow down or speed up a trial or dismiss a complaint.
As an independent nation, it is critical for us to change the paradigm, to adopt a model that is suitable for our needs. It is time for referendums to change the way we are running our country.
After fifty years we need to get back to the drawing board, we have to take stock and be fair to ourselves that our systems are in need of a major overhaul. The sanctity of life, morals and values are being eroded layer by layer, which will—if left unchecked—have catastrophic consequences.
As citizens, we have been gun-whipped, shell-shock and shellacked into submission by these ‘monsters’, who roam night and day seeking out their next victim.
They have shattered our once peaceful existence and turned us into persons who are distrustful, skeptical and paranoid. We are caged in our own homes nervous and suspicious of every car that drive by; we look over our shoulders impulsively at the sound of any din or movement.
I often wonder how persons entrusted to look after the safety of all the citizens of this country feel when they are confronted by the news of these dastardly acts of killings. Like Ms Banfield and the other four-hundred plus citizens who have lost their lives; because, as 2017 draw closer, how many more will die?