By NAN Contributor
News Americas, PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad, Thurs. Feb. 2, 2017: An oil rich Caribbean nation just can’t get a grip on its murder rate, which continues to spike at an alarming level.
In just 32 days, 56 murders were committed in the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago according to unofficial numbers reported by the media to date.
This means that the month of January, 2017 with 54 murders alone has recorded the most murders in any individual month over the past four years. Among those murdered in January was 16-year-old Rachael Ramkissoon whose killer remains on the lam.
For this month, Feb. 2017, two murders have already been reported as of Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017, bringing the total so far this year to 56.
The rising murder rate has business leaders worried. President of the Downtown Owners’ and Merchants Association (DOMA), Gregory Aboud, told the Trinidad Guardian that the time for enforcement of the law had come.
This as the Couva/Point Lisas Chamber of Commerce, Chaguanas Chamber of Industry and Commerce and the Penal/Debe Chamber of Commerce urged the Keith Rowley administration to do whatever it takes to stop the spiralling crime situation even if it means a limited state of emergency.
Meanwhile, the country’s opposition leader, former Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, told reporters that criminals were enjoying a free reign in the country and the country is clearly in a state of crisis.
The Canadian government, in an updated travel advisory on Jan. 23, 2017, warned its nationals that violent robberies, assaults and rape occur frequently in T&T.
“Remain highly vigilant in Laventille and at popular tourist sites such as Fort George, La Brea (Pitch Lake) and Las Cuevas beach, where crimes targeting foreigners have been reported,” the Canadian government statement warns. Maintain a high level of vigilance and personal security awareness at all times. Avoid visiting isolated and unpatrolled beaches due to the risk of crime, even in daylight.”