Tuesday 26th April, 2005


Pastor Clive Dottin

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Pastor Clive Dottin

Crime: The next move

Someone must give a warning to kidnappers and murderers. And the warning is this: “There are people who are not afraid of you and who are prepared to engage in a significant degree of networking to do what the State is afraid to do. Enough is enough!”

These brutal predators have launched and maintained a sustained attack on the people of T&T. They kidnap adults as well as children. They kill, spill, chill and fill their pockets with blood-money, laughing all the way to the bank while citizens are plunged into a state of uncertainty.

It is only a matter of time before people cry out for mercenaries to replace the Ministry of National Security.

Can anybody identify the kidnappers? Of course, they are known. And in case you are getting confused, understand one simple point: they enjoy the limelight. This psychotic bunch of vampires are not hiding.

Kidnapping is a lucrative business and the operatives are extremely cunning. You must have heard the following statement: “You cannot eat your cake and have it too.” Well the kidnappers and assassins are eating their cake and the cake gets larger and larger.

Listen, the predators are getting “legal” money and illegal money. They are getting money from legitimate public and private sector institutions while they conduct their nefarious business.

And we must understand one simple fact: they are not hiding. Have you heard about families who called the kidnappers, sorry, the Ministry of Kidnapping? Have you heard about the elaborate fees charged by officials in this new, unofficial ministry?

As with the drug trade, so with the kidnapping trade. We cannot fight this twin monstrosity if we have decided to preserve the untouchables.

Now, when I speak about the Ministry of Kidnapping, I am not referring to the AKS: the Anti-Kidnapping Squad. I am speaking about citizens who are involved directly and indirectly in the business of crime.

Listen, there was a family who experienced the horror of kidnapping. They called up this para-military organisation, agreed to the fee structure, and with professional skill and timing, the relative was returned.

I could almost hear some people shouting: “Dottin, what are you complaining about? Let us employ this group to solve the problems!” But that is the problem. This group is a part of the kidnapping and killing business.

We have raced past 100 murders. I must have missed the referendum where citizens voted to have over 300 murders for the year.

There is a teenager who is missing in South Trinidad, there is a Central businessman who cannot be found, executions are conducted in broad daylight, while some businessmen are leaning on the “everlasting” arms of the police reform bills. When will we ever learn?

But the problem gets worse before it gets better. When will these business organisations remove the godfathers from the treasured list of invitees on the cocktail-party circuit?

When will political parties begin to expel their financiers who are involved in blue and white collar crimes?

When will we decide to destroy the protection racket?

If we use criminals to destroy those whom we believe are our enemies, then crime is not a problem but a solution. It will require a massive reframing of perceptions, if we are to experience psychological and spiritual transformation.

I have this strange feeling that time is running out, that citizens will decide to fill the vacuum that has been created by a divided and weak Parliament and a Cabinet that is “smilingly” incompetent.

Let us spare more than a thought for our teenagers. Marijuana and cocaine are bombarding our secondary school students and again the State has been weighed in the balance and found wanting.

The “dons” have recruited students to push the drugs in and out of schools, with an efficiency that must make religious leaders, politicians and youth counsellors green with envy.

How about Vision 0505 before Vision 2020? And while we tend to focus on the brutal crimes, we must not forget the equally frustrating situation such as multiple robberies. Think of the owners of small and medium-sized shops and supermarkets who are advantaged by ruthless rascals.

In some villages, bandits have emptied some parlours on a monthly basis. There are other independent entities who are faced with an extra tax: the coward tax. If you refuse to pay, members of the lynch mob are hurled at you and you have to play the original “hide and seek” game to escape their tentacles.

How long will this sad state of affairs be allowed to continue? Until we experience a rude awakening? But we have already crossed the line. The streets of the East-West Corridor are being painted and repainted with a generous red coating of blood.

We are not ready to face the facts. Many people have lost hope in institutions that were supposed to be sacred. Political interference is hurting the Judiciary. The Integrity Commission seems paralysed, something has gone wrong somewhere, sometime.

In addition to kidnapping and killing, hypocrisy reigns supreme. Hear the Police Commissioner: “Don’t blame the Government or the police for crime.”

We would hope that politicians and police are not involved in crime. But they are employed to subdue and control the criminal element that is engulfing the society, and they must stop making silly excuses.

I agree that money is not the problem. The real problem is the absence of the will and determination to succeed.

The citizens must have the courage to act against the predators, to move under the banner of Prince Immanuel and rescue the youth from the stranglehold of the devil.


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