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Suffer the little children

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Seven children, all under the age of seven, have been beaten to death since September 3, 2013. Sidney Stellan, eight months, beaten to death in Morvant in September. Kimora Roopnarine, two, beaten to death in Chaguanas, September 16. Nishan Lal, three days, found dead in Sangre Grande on October 5. Andre Mowlah, two, beaten to death in Point Fortin on October 12. Jacob Munroe, one, beaten to death and dumped in a cesspit at the back of his father’s house on November 20. 


Keyana Cumberbatch, six, beaten to death, raped and then found in a barrel on November 28. Jabari Hernandez, three, beaten to death on November 30. When things aren’t going too well in a country, when the law is daily broken without consequences, when corruption has become endemic so that the smallest interaction between citizens become fraught with indifference and intolerance, it is always the weakest who suffer. But seven horrendous murders of children in three months seem a bit much, doesn’t it?  


What does the government plan to do? Well, already there are signs that they do not plan to do much. The government cannot be in everybody’s house, they say. The government can’t be checking everybody out, you hear. The government can’t be expected to stop every single hand raised in anger or passion.  All true. The population in general, civil society if you will, does need to decide what types of behaviour are acceptable. 



But government has a duty to lead and a responsibility to set up systems that enable the average citizen to do something about abuses that it sees. A government cannot throw its hands up and proclaim that there is nothing that it can do, that life is too complicated for it to attempt to regulate.


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