An analysis of the homicide statistics for Trinidad and Tobago released by the T&TPS for the years 2019, 2020 and for January to October 2021 by month of the year reveals that the murder toll from January to October 2019 was 443, for 2020 for the same period it was 346 and for 2021: 344 murders. For the period January to November 2019 the murder toll was: 494, in 2020 for the same period the murder toll was: 370. Which means that on November 16, 2021 we surpassed the murder toll set for the same period in 2020 by an estimated 2 murders but in no way is it a return to the river of blood of 2019. The monthly murder toll pattern for 2020 is not being repeated in 2021 which is illustrated by a comparison based on the quarterly murder toll for 2019 to 2021. For the fist quarter of 2019 the toll was 120, in 2020 it was 133 and in 2021 it was 84. The first quarter of 2020 was in fact more deadly than 2019 which indicated that the momentum of 2019 continued in the first quarter of 2020 but was accelerating but by the first quarter of 2021 there was a momentous change which reflected the reality of 2020 after its first quarter. The first quarter of 2021 was then showing a deepening of the deceleration of the murder toll. For the second quarter 2019 the toll was 137, for 2020 it was 99 and for 2021 it was 94. The deceleration in 2020 was marked compared to 2019 but 2021 was showing signs of the deceleration of the slowdown of its first quarter. In the third quarter the murder toll of 2019 was 151, 2020 was 80 and 2021 was 111which meant the deceleration of 2020 into 2021 was now over and the trend was for further acceleration in the fourth quarter. In the three quarters of 2019 the murder toll was 408, in 2020 it was 312 and in 2021 292. In October 2019 the murder toll was 35, in 202 it was 34 and in 2021 55 which meant the acceleration of the third quarter intensified/accelerated in October 2021. From January to October 2019 the murder toll was 443, in 2020 it was 346 and in 2021 it was 344. The deceleration trend to the murder toll that commenced in the second quarter of 2020 ended in the third quarter of 2021 with the toll for October 2021 continuing in this acceleration trend but in no way comparable to 2019. The monthly murder pattern of 2019 was then seeking to erase the pattern set in 2020 returning to the model of the murder spree in the third quarter where it then accelerates again in the first quarter of the following year.
What is potently apparent from this analysis is the fact that the murder toll is driven by realities on the ground especially by the order of power that is hegemonic over the illicit trades of T&T. The pandemic and the measures taken to curb the reach of the pandemic of the pandemic in T&T from 2020 to the present simply do not explain the terrain of murder in T&T from 2019 to November 2021. These measures heightened in 2021 did not fail to stop the acceleration of the murder toll in the third quarter of 2021 when Gary Griffith was CoP. In 2021 there is then a push back against the order of power that exerted its hegemony in 2020, there is continued changing of the guard and continuation of the fracturing of the old pre 2020 divisions in gangland where fractions of former adversaries are now welded into affiliates of the new order and former allies are now adversaries of the new order, where the have nots are doing battle with the haves and losing and the Cleansing continues, in some cases with termination with extreme prejudice, whilst the have nots care little of collateral damage. The new order is under the hegemony of transnational organized crime driven by a globalized business model of the illicit trades never experienced before in T&T flush with ForEx earned in the export propelled illicit trades.
What is now apparent in November 2921 is the launch of the new approach by the have nots to destabilizing the social order with the failure of two attempts at organized destabilization from April to June 2021 with the seizure of the arms shipment exported from the USA and the cache of explosives, arms and ammunition for the jail break. Presently it is now wars between have nots, the formation of wolf packs by those displaced by the new order seeking out and attacking soft targets with wanton violence, reigns of terror on those who venture into spaces the have nots control. Whilst the haves concentrate on maximizing the generation of wealth, the Cleansing and expanding the hegemony of the new order. There are multiple threats emanating from the illicit life that are not congruent with each other, the threat of transnational organized crime and its affiliates who are even now breaching the energy pipeline network for the illicit energy trade they are specialists of. Whilst the have nots thrash about venting the anger of their displacement and hard times on soft targets, the elderly, property and persons who find themselves in the wrong spaces at any time. There is no raging war in gangland as in the period 2017 to 2019, no momentum towards those years of rivers of blood, what there is the drive to the continued application of the Cleansing where those who lead the drive to mayhem will be dealt with when they cross the line, the divide and impact the Order and its maximization of wealth generation. Policing will continue to focus on the softest targets of the have nots whilst transnational organized crime unfold its menu of assaults on the economy and the financial infrastructure fully integrating T&T into its globalized transnational operational network bringing the illicit trades into the third decade of the 21st Century. Not all “cockroaches” are the same some are much more potent than others, some own multiple properties in the North Atlantic and their children attend ivy league colleges in the North Atlantic. Pax Mexicana!
With reporting by Vivian Bowen.
Update January 13, 2022
The reported murder toll for 2021 in T&T was 448 which meant that there were 159 murders in the 4th Quarter of 2021 indicating the upward spiral from the 3rd Quarter accelerating in the 4th Quarter and continuing in the 1st Quarter of 2022. The murder toll of the 4th Quarter of 2021 was larger than that of the same Quarter in 2019 and higher than the 3rd Quarter of 2019. Clearly the murder toll of 2020 is an aberration with 2021 following in the path of the period 2017-2019 where a momentum was created in the 3rd Quarter of 2021 which is continuing in the 1st Quarter of 2022. This momentum continues with the heart of Gangland in T&T quiet compared to the reality of the period 2017 to 2019. On the ground the have nots are in a frenzy breaking every rule of the Game in their quest to live the ideal life and they are paying with lives some terminated with extreme prejudice. Hence the deepening search for soft targets to pillage which amounts to a wave of terror unleashed on the most vulnerable sections of the social order.