Our desensitisation to grotesque criminal activity has evidently heightened as the years have rolled by. No longer do we seem concerned about violence occurring on our doorsteps nor do appear to think twice about brazen murderers operating openly, in full view, without fear of the consequences.
Most of the times, these killers don’t even bother about concealing their identities as they seem confident that they would not be caught and if they are eventually, anyone who is heroic enough to stand up and identify them would meet a similar, deadly fate. It’s a lesson that’s been reinforced by assassins recently with the killing of 2 witnesses to murders who have been cooperating with police.
On Sunday last, State witness, Veronica Franco was gunned down at a birthday party in Barataria by men reportedly impersonating police. Franco had reportedly left protective custody for the evening to attend the family event. Police were told that other than wearing uniforms resembling those of the Special Operations team, the gunmen made no attempt to conceal their identity. And just 5 days earlier, Rajendra Bharath was shot dead at his home on Don Miguel Road, El Socorro. He too was a witness to a recent murder. The message being sent by the killers is clear, yet no one, including the police and the normally vocal politicians seem troubled.
Despite the valiant efforts of Police Commissioner, Gary Griffith over the last few months, there seems to have been little to no progress in controlling the runaway murder spree. April of this year bore the similar, shameful murder rate to last April’s. Home invasions, attacks on businesses, and what may seem to be random criminal activity has overwhelmed our sense of empathy. No more are we bothered by the daily reports of horror inflicted upon a country already drowning in cesspool of corruption and lack of national pride. News of families being hacked to death in full view of young children is no longer met with shock and remorse. Have we become as cold and impassive as the criminals?
Just 2 decades ago, the nation uttered a collective gasp of terror and disbelief when Clint Higgins was chopped, shot and burnt at the side of a highway. Huggins as some may recall was a State witness in the Dole Chadee murder trial. He too had left the witness protection program that was offered by the State and met his death just 1 day later. Are we as shocked today to hear that not one, but two State witnesses have suffered a fate 20 years later?
It is clear that the criminal element in this country continues to prosper. It is now more widespread, braver and more dominant than ever before. It is determined to do what it takes to not just survive but thrive. Without a second thought, the criminal element will annihilate anything that compromises its existence, whether it be State witnesses, prison officers or otherwise. At this rate, we shiver at the thought of what this country would become in the not too distant future.