Trinidadians protest crime-wave

Hundreds of families of crime and other citizens gathered outside the Parliament building calling for the resignation of Trinidad and Tobago National Security Minister Edmund Dillion over the heinous and spiraling murders across the country on Friday, June 22.

The protesters- some lying on the ground wearing jerseys with blood displaying the number of the people killed over the past year. The murder figure as of last week stood at 270 so far for the year.

The silent protest took pace while the Opposition was debating a motion in Parliament calling for the resignation of Dillon.

Inside the parliament, the opposition United National Congress (UNC) MP Rodney Charles, in an impassioned delivery of the motion of no confidence in Dillon, revealed the names of 14 murder victims in his constituency over the past five months.

He noted there was a historic high of 61 murders in May and the killings of 50 women who had sought protection orders from the courts.

Charles said since the Dr. Keith Rowley administration came into power in September 2015, 1,355 people had been killed.

Over 2016-2017, Charles said, 1,062 men and 118 women were killed adding some 68 percent of murder were in the age group 25-35.

Murders, he noted, since 2016 also included almost 70 foreigners from Chinese nationals to Guyanese citizens.

“People in T&T have been strangled, throats slits, beaten to death, chopped, burnt, stabbed and 74 percent shot. The more guns the police seize, the more murders have been committed,” Charles said.

He said murders have cost TT$10-$15 billion in lost productivity as well as tourism business.

Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar said it was time for the People’s National Movement government to wake up and take charge of the country’s soaring murder rate.

In rejecting the motion, Dillon said while the Opposition boasted that they have been patriotic, their actions were lacking.

He compared serious crime statistics over a three year-period under the UNC-led administration and ruling PNM, boasting the under the PNM government the police detection rate had improved.

The motion of no-confidence failed, since the government has the majority in Parliament.

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