By Caribbean News Now contributor
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad – Trinidad and Tobago’s ‘failure’ to stop the ‘ease of killing’ has registered another high-profile suspected homicide, July 15, 2019, in Arima, north-eastern Trinidad and Tobago, the beloved actor, playwright, and producer Raymond Choo-Kong.
The mayor of Arima, Lisa Roxanne Morris-Julian, lauded Choo Kong’s creativity and compassion, saying the news of his death was “a devastating blow”.
Minister of community development, culture and the arts, Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly, said, “Choo-Kong saw the necessity in passing on the vital knowledge he had to the younger generations and was one of the ministry’s mentors for the 2019 Mentoring by the Masters Programme.”
The award-winning actor, producer and director changed the landscape of Trinidad’s theatre over the last 40 years through Raymond Choo Kong productions and received a total of 18 Cacique Awards.
The United Kingdom (UK) on Monday 24 June 2019, updated its travel advisory for Trinidad and Tobago, reflecting its assessment of a decreased terrorism threat in this country. Meanwhile, travel advisory on the US Department of State website, list Trinidad and Tobago at level 2: Exercise Increased Caution.
“Exercise increased caution in Trinidad and Tobago due to crime, terrorism, and kidnapping. Some areas have increased risk. Do not travel t Laventille, Beetham, Sea Lots, Cocorite, and the interior of Queen’s Park Savannah in Port of Spain due to crime.
“Violent crime, such as murder, robbery, assault, sexual assault, home invasion, and kidnapping, is common. Gang activity, such as narcotics trafficking, is common. A significant portion of violent crime is gang-related.
“Terrorists may attack with little or no warning, targeting tourist locations, transportation hubs, markets/shopping malls, local government facilities, hotels, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, parks, major sporting and cultural events, educational institutions, airports, and other public areas.
There is also the undoing discussion, ‘Should Trinidad and Tobago repatriate the families of ISIS recruits?
Approximately 130 citizens from the Caribbean nation of Trinidad and Tobago have joined ISIS abroad — the highest per capita source for recruits for the militant group in the Western hemisphere, catapulting Trinidad and Tobago into a debate over the repatriation of the dependents of ISIS recruits.
Numerous published articles by Caribbean News Now bring to light the need for solutions to the continuously spiraling of the crime rate in Trinidad and Tobago, albeit combating and suppressing serious organized crime is the mandate of the Organized Crime Intelligence Unit (OCIU), of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS).
“The Greater Tunapuna Chamber of Industry and Commerce (GTCIC) continues to note with alarm the continuously spiraling crime rate in Trinidad and Tobago;” another highlighted, “Exclusion and judgement won’t solve crime in Trinidad and Tobago”.
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the Arizona State University presented a study showing that treating violence as an epidemic and intervening to prevent its transmission can be an effective tool to reduce violent crime.
Phillip Edward Alexander, the political leader of the Progressive Empowerment Party, in a published letter said:
“We’re all still at the reception drunk and dancing, pretending that if we look away from the size of the monsters that have, broken and corrupted every institution of state in this country including, men and women of the TTPS then everything will be alright.
“Locking up five or 10,000 unemployed hustlers and seizing 30,000 guns while the school system continues, to pour recruits out at the rate of 7,000 a year, or while any pirogue could motor up the Caroni loaded with a fresh arsenal is n exercise in stupid futility.”
“We all want a better country…but treating symptoms while ignoring cause is the textbook definition of a fool’s errand. Surely, you at least know that. Want better? Do better.”
Nevertheless, US Department of State”, Bradshaw-Niles and Bo Shakira Harris, AIRCOP project specialist for the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), regional programme office for the Caribbean in Barbados, meet recently with Trinidad and Tobago national security officials.
“Discussions included matters of mutual interest with both countries committing to work together to ensure the safety and security of Trinidad and Tobago and the wider region; and strengthening the capacities of international airports to detect and intercept drugs, other illicit goods and high-risk passengers, including foreign terrorist fighters, in origin, transit and destination countries with the overall objective of disrupting criminal networks; and border security framework towards the increased security and safety of [our] citizens,” the statement(s) said.