President of the Joint Trade Union Movement, Ancel Roget, says the Government has been defeated in its war against crime and has left citizens at the mercy of criminals.
Roget’s comments came on the heels of the recent killing of four youngsters, including a ten-year-old girl, in the Heights of Guanapo.
Five others were also wounded in the attack which sent shockwaves throughout the country.
During a media conference yesterday, Roget accused the Government of repeatedly failing in its attempt to improve the safety of citizens.
“We also express our deep disdain, horror and anger for the free pass that this Government is given while the Government abdicates its responsibility to the citizens of this country. This Government has failed over and over and over in its primary duty for which they were hired,” the union leader said.
Roget said the seemingly unabated crime level was indicative of a government without any plan or policy to protect citizens from criminal elements.
“They continue to cast the blame on everybody else except themselves, they are responsible through all the legal ports of entry to prevent these guns from coming into our country and they will give you no end of excuse. And when you accept all of those excuses, what in fact you do, you are sitting ducks for the home invasions all of which are carried out with modern high powered weapons,” he added.
During Caricom’s Regional Symposium addressing Crime and Violence as a Public Health Issue in April, leaders expressed concern over the crime rate which was being fuelled by illegal guns and organised criminal gangs.
Among the steps identified by the regional heads to mitigate crime and violence were the banning of assault weapons as well as standing with Mexico on its legal action against US gun manufacturers and retailers. Roget stated that following proposed plans and policies by the Government to arrest the crime situation, it is yet to take the necessary steps to protect the country’s borders and stem the illicit gun, ammo and narco trade,
“They will blame everybody including America for not protecting their legal ports of entry which all of these guns come into our country...You can be a victim of home invasion, being in he wrong place in the wrong time, a victim through some assassination plot,” he said. Meanwhile, Roget said he was not hinging his hopes on the Government to roll out measures to improve the lives of citizens, through policies and fiscal systems, in the October 2 budget.
“They must of necessity increase the minimum wage and again we call on the Minister of Finance to reduce the price of gasoline at the pumps and not put more hardships on people by implementing property tax and no to the increase in the retirement age to access your pension in this country,” he added.
The JTUM president also said the country was currently experiencing a chronic foreign exchange crisis as a result of Government’s failure and outlined several reasons, including poor policies, for the languishing issue.