The May 3rd gangland-style murder of Dana Seetahal, a prominent lawyer and former senator in Trinidad and Tobago, has exposed the erosion of the rule of law in the Caribbean country.
Seetahal, pictured, had just left a casino in the capital of Port of Spain when her vehicle was stopped by another car blocking the road, Vice News said. “A van pulled up alongside and let loose a burst of gunfire, killing her in a well orchestrated hit.”
There have been about 170 murders in Trinidad and Tobago so far this year. It’s on course to have one of the highest murder rates in the world.
“The country saw only 93 murders in 1999. Last year, there were 407,” Vice News said.
Many of the murders are gang related.
“The gangs fight over lucrative government contracts meant to provide social services and combat unemployment,” Vice News said.
The drug trade is also to blame. Trinidad, less than ten miles form Venezuela, is now a transhipment point for drugs headed to West Africa and the United States.
Political leaders and cronies are accused of “turning a country rich in oil and gas deposits into their own personal narco-state, fostering impunity through a web of bribes and murders,” the story said.
Here’s a disturbing video from Vice News’s investigation of T&T:
Richard L. Cassin is the Publisher and Editor of the FCPA Blog. He can be contacted here.