Tuesday, May 6, 2014


I've listened to reactions, understandably shocked, following the murder of Dana Seetahal. Here's my take on this whole thing:

For those who are equating her murder with the other 155 for the year, the only equivalence is that she is human with the same DNA. That is where it ends. The murder of Ms. Seetahal carries a strong symbolic message that there are no lines left to be crossed. She was a public official, a state prosecutor and a high ranking senior counsel. Her murder matters more because of the message it sends.

Secondly, I am completely disinterested in prayer and coming together and being patriotic or holding million dollar memorials for Ms. Seetahal. The fact of the matter is that this country is rotten from the top to the core. I don't care for public relations police briefings or an Attorney General who used her murder for self promotion a mere 2 hours after she was gunned down in cold blood. Everyone in this country knows that the problem is drugs. Everyone knows that the young boys from Laventille cannot finance it. Everyone knows of the corruption at the ports. Everyone knows. And that is the point. Don't insult my intelligence by telling me that you working on theories and no resources will be spared to catch her killers because I don't care about the ones who pulled the triggers. They are certainly not the ones from whom orders came. They are most probably not the ones who brought military grade weapons into the country. Where are the arrests and prosecution of these 'big fishes'? You know, the ones who actually have the financial whereitall to conduct the narco trade.

Thirdly, her murder is a further demonstration of systemic failure. Despite our 'wealth', this country is a failed state. State institutions do not work, from health to national security to education to finance. Transparency and accountability are nonexistent and those who call for it are treated (by whomever controls the treasury) as mischief makers. Our system and structure of governance is a failure. It is a failure because our government finances the trade. It is complicit in money laundering and drug running. And not because individual ministers are. It is because the state readily provides financing via URP/CEPEP contracts. The Ministry of Finance does not conduct audits of citizens who for some reason manage to live like kings and queens while declaring income like paupers. It is because the Security Apparatus cannot or will not control our borders or intelligently conduct investigations. How many times have there been drug busts with no arrests?

Finally, as I end this, and I refuse to call it a rant, here are some simple solutions to those in charge offered by me, free of charge.

1. Immediately close down URP/CEPEP and replace it with Unemployment Insurance not to exceed 100 weeks. In this way those who need some relief will get it, along with some time to make thenselves employable. It cuts out contractors and wastage. It identifies those in need and assists and trains people to enter the workforce.

2. CCTV everywhere. In ever major city, town, borough, state building and ports. If London can do it, we can more than afford to. The fear of being caught is almost as effective as being caught.

3. Complete tax and asset audits of very high net worth individuals to trace source of income. Either by the Ministry of Finance or the Financial Intelligence Unit. Jail is jail, whether they are taken down for drug running or tax evasion.

4. Complete overhaul of the Judicial system, including the abolition of nuisance laws and the implementation of a more efficient trial system. Rebuild from the ground up. New and modern buildings for our courts equipped with the relevant technology.

5. Zero tolerance for firearms. And I mean zero. No one should be allowed a firearm. Not businessmen, not civilians, not low ranking police officers and certainly not security guards. And if found with one, punishment should be onerous.

6. A properly called and executed state of emergency with assistance from international organizations. It is clear that we alone cannot handle our problems.

In the meantime, we remain a relatively wealthy, failed, narco state....well at least until the oil runs out...then we can remove wealthy from that description and see the kind of state we really are.


  1. I disagree completely on firearms. Limiting the rights of citizens is going to leave us helpless in the face of firearms held by ill-intentioned holders, a move that looks especially silly when there is significant evidence [1] that criminals back off when faced with guns.

    My primary worry with the surveillance state is that there is nothing among your suggestions to reduce corruption ("overhauling" puts too much vague and indefinite faith in the overhaulers for now), and the surveillance state in the hands of politicians themselves in the pockets of criminals will simply be used to empower the criminals. As a refinement, I suggest decentralizing it. Give cameras to businesses and individuals, and establish police forces at level of Trinidad's 134 districts and Tobago's 12 counties, uploading all of the data with redundancy to volunteer servers and dedicate state/regional/city/district/county servers.

    1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defensive_gun_use

  2. What do you say to legalizing cocaine and marijuana completely? We will firmly establish the right of the individual to consume their materials in private and to trade consensually as they wish; and we would eliminate the drug-related bribing system in the government.