Please Mr Prez hear our voice

 

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Category: Trinidad Society Date: 10 Jul 05

 

Log on to the Web site www.trinidadmurders.org, and you will hear the voice of our people in their feedback page. Here are excerpts:

 

“I used to make frequent visits home to visit my family and friends. Now I no longer return. I would not be so foolish to risk my life or those of my wife and daughter by visiting T&T now.

 

“My sister still lives in South, locked up in her house like a prisoner. All honest Trinidadians are now prisoners in their homes while the gangsters, killers, kidnappers, burglars run free.”

 

“I live in England, and I don’t want to be here. The only reason I am here is because I am a rape victim of four men who broke into my house.

 

“Because of them, I had to leave my home and all that I knew. Please give the president this message for me.

 

“Tell him that I didn’t deserve this, that I didn’t ask for this, and he has no idea how much this has affected my life. But in spite of all I have been through, I desperately want to come home.

 

“Please tell him to give me and so many others a chance to come home without fear or reluctance, a chance to feel safe in our own country.”

 

The Web site was set up for Stephen Cadiz, a citizen of this country after his employee, an ordinary decent man, Keith Noel, became victim No 136.

 

Noel was brutally murdered, throat slit, face hammered in half with a cutlass. Cadiz began a petition campaign to pressure politicians to do their jobs, deal with crime.

 

The petition:

“To the President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, His Excellency Dr Maxwell Richards:

 

“We the citizens, are fed up with the violent, murderous crime situation, and will no longer live in fear.

 

“We demand action by our elected Members of Parliament and ask that you use the office of the President to help us, this scared and frightened population.”

 

Cadiz confirmed that so far some 52,000 people had signed. We are up to murder 184 today (Thursday). That brings us to one a day. People in every corner and street are fed up, disgusted at crime, at parliamentarians’ indifference to crime and terrorised citizens.

 

“If the government continues to ignore us and murders continue, people will stop reinvesting in Trinidad; more expatriates will leave; our children will never return from universities to serve, because they can’t even go to the gym or for a drive without fear.

 

“We will have more absentee landlords, transient businessmen whose families live abroad, who commute to Trinidad to do their business.

 

“There will be capital flight. We are going for 100,000 signatures. We want the President to intervene to get elected representatives to do their jobs, implement crime plans.”

 

Other Web sites confirm Cadiz’ fears.

 

Log on to UN Web sites and you will discover that for democratic countries without civil wars, T&T ranks second in the world after Jamaica for murders.

 

For every thousand people, 3.36 are murdered. Our percentage of growth rate is higher than Jamaica’s. At this rate, by 2008 we will pass Jamaica to rack up the highest murder rate in the world.

 

Now check the CIA’s Web site. Oddly enough, despite soaring oil prices, despite make work employment, our population has been falling by 0.75 per cent, meaning that some 8,000 people are leaving this country annually.

 

This applies not just to the wealthy who fear kidnapping, but to people living in depressed areas who are bigger victims of crime.

 

People also take or send their children abroad to family, rather than risk leaving them to the lure of joining gangs, and a quick buck.

 

Log on to another UN Web site. It measures development not with “erections” of FTAA buildings, or cricket facilities, but with the quality of education and health care in a country.

 

Guess where we are on that index? Falling into underdeveloped status.

 

Make your voice heard if you care. Log on to www.trinidadmurders.org/Petition.asp and give them your signature.

 

We are not accepting a murder a day. We don’t want to pass Jamaica this round.

 

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All Articles Copyright Ira Mathur