Corruption, Cocaine and Murder in Trinidad

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Around midnight on May 3, Dana Seetahal, a prominent attorney and former senator in Trinidad and Tobago, had just left a casino in the capital of Port of Spain when her vehicle was stopped by another car blocking the road. A van pulled up alongside and let loose a burst of gunfire, killing her in a well orchestrated hit.

Her murder was one of approximately 170 that have occurred in the Caribbean nation so far this year, putting it on course for one of the highest murder rates in the world. The country saw only 93 murders in 1999. Last year, there were 407.

VICE News visited the slums of Port of Spain and spoke with police, activists, community leaders, and gangsters to understand the country’s decade-plus spike in killings. Many of the murders are attributed to ruthless and politically connected street gangs who control territories that are sometimes no larger than a city block. The gangs fight over lucrative government contracts meant to provide social services and combat unemployment.

But gang violence is merely a symptom of a bigger problem. Trinidad has become an important stop for drugs headed to West Africa and the United States. Many observers point to “the big fish” β€” the nameless political and business elites who are behind drug trafficking and the culture of endemic corruption and murder that come with it. They 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. Unlike the profits from the energy industry, however, this phenomenon trickles all the way down to the street level.

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49 thoughts on “Corruption, Cocaine and Murder in Trinidad

  1. This is highly disrespectful that you would show my lovely country like that, our country isn't all crime.Just like how america has "The Hood" we have it here too.The Port-of-Spain area is where most crime in trinidad reside,We have our beautiful beaches,asphalt lake,tropical climate and exotic fruits grow here and not to mention our great food.They made our country look so bad and we aren't like that.They focused on the Crime and bad in our country.Let me tell you Like All countries we have crime but not everywhere .Certain places in Trinidad us trinidadians know where to go.It is not my fault my country's government is so coruptted.Our country isn't like how it is showed in this video and i trust me their is more good than bad❀

  2. lol you should put the subtitles on the interviewer instead, he talks way too fast and it's harder to understand than some of the people subtitled in the video. shame on you vice.

  3. The cadence of their speech is very hard to follow. When it sounds like they've come to the end of a sentence they might be in the middle of it. And some times they bundle up a bunch of words in one breath so that you have to think for 5 seconds before it makes sense lol.

  4. Same thing happening in Belize πŸ‡§πŸ‡Ώ . The politicians rub elbows with the powerful drug kingpins that finance their party. In return they turn a blind eye to the many drug planes landing in northern Belize. The drugs are unloaded then smuggled across the river/border into Mexico where the cartels pick them up. The planes from South America refuel and then return to where they came from. Some of those drugs remain in the country which fuel gang wars

  5. Make all drugs legal in every country that wants to stop the flow of illegal money. Make dispensaries with pure drugs for sale legally. Use the profits for drug rehab if people want it.

  6. All the Black people who got money not create jobs so black people can be hire. U. S. Government should be take those money and make them broke all black people who got money responsible for crimes and no jobs creates in our country U. S. A. Should be lock up in jail or prison and charge for not create jobs or not making investment in our inner city or in our country or in states in America. President Donald Trump's needed to go after all black people who got money and cause city or states have homeless on the rise up.

  7. What the heck black leaders during in Little Haiti Miami Florida. Only stealing. No Jobs creates crimes on the rise. No education help president Donald Trump's needed to go after all black leader who here to stealing only not help black people in community or in country or in state to make all life have jobs all the Black leaders needed to be responsible for crime in homeless keep rise up.

  8. What the heck black leaders during in New York no jobs creates crimes on the rise. Networker became homeless. President Donald Trump need to go after black leaders in New York for stealing and crimes black leaders in New York supported and stealing.

  9. What the heck black leader during in Florida city. Florida. No jobs creates homeless people keep rise up. Black leader here only to stealing no place to find jobs. President Donald Trump's needed to go after Black leaders for stolen on Florida city, Florida.

  10. What the heck black leader do in North Miami Florida. Not create jobs to hire people but black leader in North Miami Florida here to stealing only. What a shame. Black community in North Miami Florida is death. No jobs creates people are homeless and homeless.

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