All reports indicate Dana Seetahal was a model citizen of Trinidad and Tobago, an attorney, law lecturer, independent Senator, newspaper columnist are a few achievements which dotted her career. Despite all of her achievements she was murdered on the weekend by people unknown who attached no value to her life. The news of how she died should be worrying to Caribbean citizens for many reasons.
Trinidad like Jamaica are two of the largest islands in the Caribbean and have become known for high crime rates. Although the Caribbean has a reputation as a peace zone in a world perpetually gripped by violence there is no doubt that on the current trajectory this reputation will soon dissipate. Sadly our modern day leaders both political and non governmental lack the capacity to implement economic and social policies which are steeped in a relevant vision and philosophy.
The abject despair revealed by former Chief Justice of Barbados David Simmons when asked to comment about Seetahal’s murder should serve as a wakeup call that there is a vacancy for leadership in the Caribbean. And to those who continue to criticise Barbados Underground for being the purveyor of bad news for the last seven years how do you respond to Sir David Simmons’ comment which agrees with our view?
One of BU’s biggest disappointments in the post-Independence period is the inability of the three largest and mineral rich countries to shepherd the prosperity of the region. Our inability to share resources and engage in levels of functional cooperation to the benefit of the region has started to manifest in the level of crime being witnessed. Sadly the rising level of violent crime across the region will negatively impact our reputation as a peace zone and service based economies in our region will be affected.
It has been stated by people closely associated to the late Seetahal that she was a fearless individual who had no qualms exercising her right to express herself in a democracy. In other words she demonstrated a behaviour which all citizens should routinely display but do not. The result is rising injustice perpetuated by a few who are motivated by greed, wickedness and ignorance.
This common space that we call our region whether defined along historical, political or other does not require the use of statistical inference to support we are ripe for contagion given the rise in crime in our biggest countries; countries which supply the region with labour.
It is depressing to think about the kinds of societies we have become – we have created vagabonds who see no value in the life of a human being, especially someone like Seetahal, who was an example of what many should aspire to become.