Blood flows through the streets of TrinidadLos Angeles Post-Examiner

Blood flows through the streets of Trinidad

Trinidad and Tobago’s high crime figures continue to paint the twin island with a lustreless image.

March murders and shootings ended with a bang; with 23 murders being recorded in the last week of the month, leaving a trail of pain, emptiness, bloodshed and tears. Almost like something sucking the soul of the nation.

There have been 43 murders in 31 days for the month of March 2017. Like fun in the park on a sunny Sunday afternoon, trigger-happy bandits just shooting up each other, like kids with water guns, only playing a much deadlier game.

Here’s why the March murders should inject enough rage in the people of Trinidad and Tobago to demand that the Prime Minister Keith Rowley led PNM government step up or step down — when it comes to the crime problem, it has statistically escalated since he took office in 2015.

The police data on the TTPS website shows that:
18 people were murdered in March 2013, 25 less than the 2017 period.
29 people were murdered in March 2014, 14 less than the 2017 period.
33 people were murdered in March 2015, 10 less than the 2017 period.
35 people were murdered in March 2016, eight less than the 2017 period.
43 people were murdered in March 2017, the mark of Prime Minister Keith Rowley’s incompetence to deal with the crime problem.

This is everyday life in little Trinidad and Tobago; the energy giant of the Caribbean region. Some Caribbean citizens call it little New York; but it has no successful crime fighter in sight like the New York crime buster, now politician, Rudy Giuliani; whose legacy can boast of arresting the crime problem that plagued the Big Apple for many years.

After nine murders in the first week of March, Life in Leggings TT – held a solidarity march at the Queens Park Savannah to make a rallying cry for women who fell to murder. Seven women were murdered in January. See the data here. Five women were murdered in February and three women murdered in March. With this successive decline, you get a strong sense of hope that the protests are working. Several of those women met their demise through domestic abuse.

The blood bath this season in the twin isle Republic is so gross that the police, when they can, conceal some of the murders from the media. This reporter received several complaints back in March from citizens who witnessed murdered victims laying on the ground in their village, with no mention of this reality in the mainstream news media.

On Thursday, March 30th the authorities faced its biggest shame yet in its inability to manage the crime scourge. Facebook was alight with a rapid flow of information about the bloodshed of that day.

It read like this on ENT Breaking News:

ENT! BREAKING NEWS

30 March ·

Breaking: There has been another report of a shooting, this time in the Diego Martin area. Reports coming in states that five people were shot, with three dead and two critical. We will provide further updates on this situation as they become available to us.

Another well known and reliable Facebook page that breaks stories on crime – Dj’s News carried the same story.

Then there were reports of eleven people being shot on the same Thursday night, 30th March, this time in La Platte, Maraval, after men with machine guns sprayed up a group with bullets.

Five people were shot in Diego Martin on Thursday night – March 30.

There was a double murder in Arima on Thursday morning – 30th, March. 2 men were shot dead.

This reporter distinctly remembers the mainstream news media excluding the report of the Diego Martin triple murder from their newscasts. This is evidence of government interference and a blatant attempt to mask the true face of crime in Trinidad and Tobago.

Let us look at the numbers.

Murders by the week

There were nine murders in the first week of March – All men (with three days respite)
There were six murders in the second week of March – All men (with three days respite)
There were five murders in the third week of March – 4 men, 1 woman (with a one day respite)
There were 23 murders in the last week of March – 21 men, 2 women

Women murdered  

Nyasha Joseph was 22-years-old. Her body was found in the Gulf of Paria; her head bashed in.
Petra Manwaring was 65-years-old. She was found stabbed to death at her home.
Sharlene Somai was 22-years-old. She was suffocated to death and her body dumped in a cane field.
Classification of killings for March

32 men were shot and killed
5 people were chopped/stabbed to death
2 died of blunt force trauma to the head
1 woman was suffocated to death
1 man burnt to death
2 bodies found, classified as murders by investigating officers. One was found face down in a pool of blood.

Most and least popular days for killings

 Sundays – 4 murders
Mondays – 4 murders
Tuesdays – 5 murders
Wednesdays – 8 murders
Thursdays – 7 murders
Fridays – 9 murders
Saturdays – 6 murders

40 men murdered and 3 women murdered

The murder that sparked outrage

Nyasha Joseph

She was only 21 years old and the mother of a four-year old girl when Police Constable, Nyasha Joseph was first reported missing. According to a March 15th Express report titled: Body in bag, the police woman was last seen on Thursday 9th March, by her colleagues. Six days later fishermen reported to police that they found a body in a bag, floating off the waters of the Caroni Swamp. It was Nyasha, a follow up report by the Express confirmed. And it was the murder that sparked the most outrage on social media, here and here.

Among those outraged and touched by this killing, activist Marcus Kissoon wrote on his Facebook page: “My condolences to the family and friends of WPC Nyasha Joseph. The nation is once again saddened by the murder of a sister. Can we agree TT, that there is some value or lack of value for women? Can we agree that society sees women as weak and helpless hence they are raped, killed and shamed? Is violence against women a reality? How is this different from saying girls can’t and should not get educated? Should they get married when we say to? All the questions leads to one thing, the inequality of women. The right to be safe. The right to their own bodies and lives.”

Two men and a lady were quizzed by police about Nyasha’s death in what was made to look like a murder twisted in romance and relationships. This March 18th Express story read: “A 34-year-old woman has been questioned by police investigating the murder of Woman Police Constable Nyasha Joseph.”

“The Sea Lots woman is believed by police officers to be romantically linked with a 36-year-old man who was detained last week after Joseph went missing. Joseph also shared a relationship with the suspect.” LINK:

Sea Lots is a notable crime hot spot in Trinidad and Tobago.

One of the suspects in Nyasha’s killing was said to be her boyfriend. They can be seen in this video, which was uploaded to whatsapp and subsequently Facebook.

Police continue to taint their credibility

Nyasha Joseph

In the usual habit of the police, like the country witnessed with the Shannon Banfield murder in December of 2016, there were several conflicting reports about how Nyasha’s body was found. Initial police reports stated that the fishermen fished the body out of the water after throwing down their net for their routine catch. It was reported that bricks were tied to the police woman’s body to ensure it submerged in water. Deputy Commissioner of police, Wayne Dick debunked all such reports told to the media by his own police officers.

Dick was the same police officer who investigated the assassination of Dana Seetahal, Senior Counsel back in 2014. That murder remains unsolved. Dick was the same police officer who disputed initial reports surrounding the murder of Shannon Banfield, which initial police reports indicated, was the woman found dead in a deep freeze at the I AM and Company store in Port of Spain back in December of 2016. That murder remains unsolved. Watch officer Dick deny all initial reports on the Nyasha Joseph murder in this CNC3 television video and bullies social media commentators about their comments on the conflicting reports surrounding the murder (here).

Read the outpouring of affection for Nyasha here.

The murder that cannot be determined as a murder

In what read like a hocus pocus piece from something out of the strange news column, a soldier was reported to have shot himself in the head and the gun went missing. Read the Express story.

Even more Bizarre, Omar Samaroo was said to be right handed, yet he was shot on the left side of the head. To date, there are no reports of the gun being found, though the army decided that the soldier committed suicide according to this Newsday story.

Opposition Senators and attorneys Gerald Ramdeen and Wayne Sturge called for an independent inquiry into the soldier’s death. Read this Newsday report, which also speaks of the latest and highly unusual stance by top bosses in the country’s security services, demanding and bullying social media commentators to stop discussing the various reports about the soldier’s strange death. Read this Newsday story.

Faris kids with weapons

What the government controlled mainstream media hesitates to report explicitly is that murdered soldier Omar Samaroo was linked to an army probe that found it was wrong for attorney general Faris Al Rawi’s children to be showing off with high-powered guns.

Oppositon MP, Roodal Moonilal broke the story of the attorney general’s children posing with the high-powered rifles reportedly at the army’s camp in Cumuto. In trying to justify the children having the guns, Government minister in the office of the prime minister and the attorney general’s office, Stuart Young told the media, the children were using the guns under the supervision of both himself and attorney general Al Rawi.

The AG insists that his children were training. However, the army found that gun laws were broken and it was illegal for the children to have the high-powered guns. Faris Al Rawi, shockingly remains the attorney general in the prime minister Keith Rowley cabinet, following this blatant transgression. Opposition members and citizens continue to use Facebook to call for the firing of Faris Al Rawi.

Look out for the story on the April murders right here on the Los Angeles Post-Examiner, as we continue to highlight the uncontrollable state of crime in Trinidad and Tobago.

Top photo of Faris Al-Rawi by Andrea de Silva Photography

 

 


About the author

Marcia Braveboy

Marcia Braveboy is a journalist from Grenada based in Trinidad and Tobago. She has over 20 years experience in media; mainly in copy writing, news and broadcast journalism. Braveboy was a senior reporter at Power 102 FM radio, CNC3 television and producer of the investigative Frontline program on CCN’s i95.5 FM talk-radio station. You can follow Marcia on Twitter: @mbraveboy Contact the author.
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