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Trinidad & Tobago
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Thirty-four murders in February in Trinidad and Tobago in spite of heightened security for carnival
Published on March 17, 2017Email To Friend    Print Version

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By Marcia Braveboy
Freelance Journalist
Twitter: @mbraveboy
Email: marciabraveboy@gmail.com

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad -- With 34 murders in just 28 days, there was no letting up of the bloodshed on the twin island of Trinidad and Tobago.

With the murder toll crossing the 400 mark annually for the last decade, with the exception of a state of emergency (SoE) in 2011, which resulted in 354 murders for that year and 384 in the following year of 2012, reflective of the SoE’s impact; it was back to business as usual. Trinidad and Tobago is without a doubt one of the most lethal countries in the Caribbean Sea, where its citizens are always in a state of panic over its near 500 annual murder toll.

Let’s look at February

A 15-year-old-boy shot 37 times; the surreal case of four women stripping themselves and walking the streets naked in the space of ten days; the double murder of a mother and daughter; the curious case of the police boasting about 42 murder-free days in well known hot spot area, the capital city of Port of Spain, while residents in well known safe communities sit on the edge of their seats and watch the bloodshed spill over into their neighbourhoods, are but a few of the series of criminal activities that may have left citizens in a state of uneasiness.

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MPs in the well known safe zone and opposition United National Congress (UNC) strongholds continue to call on the government to show more willingness in reining in criminal elements that seem to be enticed by their splurge of blood shedding.

Murders by the week

• There were 13 murders in the first week of February – 12 men, 1 woman

• There were 4 murders in the second week of February, (with 5 quiet days to follow) – 3 men, 1 woman.

• There were 9 murders in the third week of February – All men

• There were 8 murders in the fourth week of February – 5 men and 3 women

Women Murdered

• Jamilia Derevenex – 27-years-old. Her throat was slit.

• Abeila Adams – 15-years-old. Her throat was slit.

• Dorothy “Molly” Hosein – 65-years-old, fished out of a pond… was hog tied and her body more marks of violence.

• Ambrozina “Baby” Bernard – 83-years-old. She was stabbed to death at her home.

• Cathy Ann Bernard – 39-years-old. She was stabbed to death at her home.

Gender

gender_graph_feb_2017.jpg

Five women were murdered – all cases of wounding to the body with a sharp object – and 29 men murdered – most of them seemingly gang related. Shot to death.

Classification of killings for February

• 1 man beaten to death
• 2 women throats were slit
• 23 people were shot to death
• 6 people were stabbed/chopped to death
• 1 man found hanging, with hands and feet bound
• 1 woman fished out of a pond with hands and feet hog tied
• 2 cases of bodies found remain unclassified.

Most and least popular days for killings

Sundays – 3 killings
Mondays – 5 killings
Tuesdays – 2 killings
Wednesdays – 6 killings
Thursdays – 6 killings
Fridays – 5 killings
Saturdays – 7 killings

Other observations

- Most of the male victims were shot multiple times. A continued pattern from January

- All five women were killed with a sharp object that left them with stab wounds or slit throats.

- A mother and daughter being stabbed in their home by another woman is a rare criminal case. Usually men are recorded as committing such crimes in Trinidad and Tobago.

- Unclassified cases remain unconfirmed. No one knows how the victims died.

Very often, unclassified cases remain unclassified, either because the local mainstream media do not follow up on the status of those cases or the authorities remain delinquent and the matter remains inconclusive.

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However, some cases are confirmed, like in the case of baby Jayada Douglas. The 11-month-old died of blunt force trauma to the head on Tuesday, January 31, and not sleep medication as previously reported. Source - Express. This death takes the January murder toll to 55. One more than the 54 previously reported. With consideration of this murder, the murder toll for January and February combined will then be 89 and not 88 as reflected in the graph.

The Trinidad and Tobago Police Service website shows a history of the data of February murders from 2013 to 2017, as reflective in this graph.

jan_feb_murders_comparison.jpg

Shocking incidents

The Newsday reported on Monday February 13th: “A 26-year-old Montrose woman who was abducted on Friday, gang raped, and then left naked on the Churchill Roosevelt Highway (CRH) near Maloney, was rescued by police officers early Friday morning.” Motorists spotted the woman running down the highway naked and assisted her.

On Tuesday, 14th February, a woman was driving down the popular Wrightson Road in Port of Spain and suddenly hit the vehicle in front of her. Nothing new here, her actions after that are what stunned motorists. She came out of the vehicle, took off all her clothes and walked down the street naked. Loop TT news reported the story and placed an edited version of the video on their website.  

One of the commentators under the article named Kendall Houlder, said: “Sounds like she on flakka,” referring to a drug scientists say is even more dangerous than cocaine. According to this CNN report: “A small overdose of the drug, which can be smoked, injected, snorted or injected, can lead to a range of extreme symptoms: "excited delirium," as experts call it, marked by violent behavior; spikes in body temperature (105 degrees and higher); paranoia.”

Several reports of the drug show that it causes those who use it to take off all their clothes. The spike in body temperature being one of the reasons.

Houlder’s comment in that article may not be far off in his conclusion, as this reporter was told by a police officer even before the incidents of the naked women started occurring that members linked to the government were planning on having women in particular abducted and drugged and placed on the streets naked. An action linking back to government corruption and a means of silencing dissenting voices.

This reporter published the information on her Facebook page, mere days before the incidents started occurring, but the exposé did not prevent the ordeal from happening.

The following week, another video surfaced of yet another woman walking the streets naked in the Lopinot area, in the east side of the country.

Residents of Debe then reported on Facebook that another woman was seen walking the street naked in their area in early February. That seemed to have been the very first of the four women seen walking the streets naked.

This reporter contacted an attorney about the information received from the police source to get her professional advice on the matter. The lawyer responded: “Marcia, this is too much for head to take. Evidence of the shock effect these incidents have had on citizens.”

Most people on Facebook concluded that the individuals had a mental breakdown. What was curious however and caused some people to pause, was the frequency with which those incidents occurred. Four women walked the streets naked in the space of ten days in the month of February. The gaze started shifting to the authorities and, as some commented on Facebook, they were keeping an eye out for more such incidents before they could point fingers at the government.

The shocking murders of a mother and daughter in a quiet village in Siparia left villagers in wonder. Then the daily newspapers reported that a woman was arrested for the double murder.

But what trouble is this?

In spite of the February horrors, the national security minister Edmund Dillon praised what he said was a crime free carnival.

The Express quickly debunked the minister’s bungle with a headline that read: 7 murders for carnival but minister said crime free carnival.

The minister then backtracked in a follow up news release saying: “Disregard that crime free statement.” The minister then admitted that the crime situation was indeed “terrible”.

The murder toll stands at 105 in 75 days, with 17 murders for the month of March already.

The complete list of murders in February may be found here.

Graphs created for Caribbean News Now by R Persadie.
 
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