News Americas, PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad, Tues. Mar. 17, 2014: Has the twin-island of Trinidad & Tobago taken the loathsome title of ‘Crime Capital of the Caribbean?’
It certainly seems that way as the Republic recorded its 100th murder yesterday in 76 days into the New Year.
Jeffon ‘Boatie’ Jordan, 29, according to T&T police, became the unfortunate 100th victim. Jordan was reportedly shot as he walked near his home in Santa Cruz, north east of Port of Spain.
The father of three was one of six people killed during a 72 hour period.
T&T recorded its first murder of 2014 on January 2nd.
The U.S. State Department has rated the crime rate in Trinidad and Tobago as at a “critical” level and insists that “violent crime remains high on both islands (Trinidad & Tobago) and affects local and expatriate communities, and tourists.” The Canadian government for its part has warned its citizens to “exercise a high degree of caution due to a high crime rate.”
Trinidad and Tobago last year recorded a whopping 407 murders in 365 days. The 2012 murder rate was at 37.9 per 100,000 people. There were 379 murders in 2012, 354 murders in 2011, 480 murders in 2010, 508 murders in 2009, 550 murders in 2008, and 391 in 2007 out of a population of approximately 1.3 million people resident on both islands.
The murder rate continues to be driven primarily by gang and drug related activities.
With the current tally less than a quarter into 2014, the country seems on its way to repeating or even surpassing this number.
A Commission of Enquiry into the 1990 Coup recently included 31 recommendations aimed at strengthening the national security arms of the country. They include a re-evaluation of the country’s National Security and Intelligence Agencies.
“We respectfully recommend that the entire national security architecture should be revisited. We are mindful that there have been several studies and reports prior to this Commission of Enquiry which, if properly approached and analyzed, together with the empirical evidence available from the agencies mentioned above, can produce an appropriate security architecture for Trinidad and Tobago,” the report from commission chairman Sir David Simmons, said.