Express Editorial : Daily

THE murders of artistic icon Raymond Choo Kong at his home in Arima yesterday and of a young missing woman, among several others, marked another disturbing spiral in the incidence of homicides in the country.

In the 24 hours between Sunday and yesterday seven murders were recorded.

In recent figures released by the authorities, there was said to have been a slight decrease in the murder count, as compared with the same time last year. This, however, represents no comfort for citizens grappling with the effects of this prolonged crime wave, about which there remains no significant turnaround.

There appears a rampaging attitude among those who remain impervious to the best efforts of those in uniform, and in authority, to bring about any semblance of change in this culture of bloodletting.

And as the details demonstrate more and more, no quarter in this land appears unblemished by this national scourge. From one end of the country to another, across both our islands, the evidence of murder and of other forms of debilitating criminal activity appears before us, with a dizzying frequency.

From the results of domestic disputes, to the apparent loss of hope among leading male members in a family, to the steady beat of the will of common criminals, the country’s murder figures continue to make a mockery of the best intentions of those sworn to lead us in a different direction.

In two incidents last week alone, armed bandits were gunned down in their efforts to get at what did not belong to them. In the first case, two gunmen stormed a jewel store in Couva, just steps away from the police station. One of them was killed because of swift action by a security guard on duty. This incident occurred in high day time, 11 o’clock in the morning, within an hour after the store was opened for business that day.

In the other incident, one of six armed men who stormed the home of a supermarket in Ste Madeleine was shot and killed by a single bullet to the head, as he kicked his way into the master-bedroom on those premises.

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What is clearly being demonstrated in these incidents, is the apparent conclusion by more and more of these nihilists, that they will get what they want, at any cost, or they will die trying. This is frightening in the extreme, bound as it is, to have triggered the call by one Member of Parliament for fast-tracking the process for the issuance of firearms to qualifying applicants. Published in yesterday’s Express, this letter’s thesis also advocates a more liberal policy for the arming of police and prisons officers, on and off duty.

Thumbing their noses at the efforts of law enforcers, persons behind bars continue to successfully issue orders for the elimination of witnesses on the outside.

With two elections around the corner, this long, continuing descent into anarchy will continue to be high on the campaign agendas.

But what is a more urgent requirement is a renewed engagement in the search for comprehensive answers and solutions by all stakeholders.

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