Crime is more than simply crime

Dear Editor,

I find myself wondering, all things considered, if the rampaging crime wave is more than ordinary criminality. There are weapons, carnage, and fear stalking the land at ominous levels. Is it just commonplace brigandage? Or is the ratcheting volume of violence representative of the more sinister, an invisible hand?

Many are the cries and reports of slow business across the board. The commercial crawl is traceable to the near invisible, but inexorable tightening of the screws; clogging of loopholes; and the putting of practitioners of certain lucrative, but illegitimate, pursuits on edge and in heavy retreat. The glory days of free-for-all fronts, flimsy covers, and transparent pretences are over, or on notice that a massive threatening tide of surveillance, squeeze, exposure (and more) is here. Business is indeed slow, given that the halcyon era of no risk, all profit is under siege. This is the present context, a new never experienced one.

Another aspect of the old rich rackets was the widespread belief that there were many guns and many phantom squads either lurking or roaming at will in the land; that there were many soldiers-of-fortune ready and all too willing to execute the orders of the hymn singing, churchgoing, political supporting (cuts both ways) godfathers. These were/are the sentinels, intimidators, and triggermen for far-flung interests, mainly commercial, and mainly product driven.

Now let us put the two together.

Given the slowdown in business, directly attributable to the combination of local political heat and foreign overseeing presence brought to bear, there is little for the phantoms to do. Therefore, there is much to be concerned and angry about. In view of the sharp prospects of more unacceptable pressure and even more business constrictions, something has to give; some actions undertaken; and messages sent in the process.Thus unoccupied armed men run amok. Thus, the police force and new government struggle to cope. Thus, a population flinches, if not cowers. If accurate, this could be destabilization under different auspices and in a new guise. Call it the intention to manufacture a crisis of confidence. This could be more than a ten year war; the hope is that it is not a thirty year one.

If the population is intimidated (and it is); if the police are engaged and overwhelmed (and they are); and if the government is made to appear weak (and it is), then there is hope for a resurgence of the good old business days and ways. I can envision that this is the surging undercurrent; this is the ultimate objective of the interests.

Now citizens are paying a hard price for all the old evils allowed to germinate here in broad daylight, that have now been forced underground. This is the pox on the Guyanese house; it is a red one. For this Guyanese can thank those who blessed those who transformed this main town from a city of homes to a city of warehouses: warehouses of smart money; warehouses of criminal prosperity; warehouses of garbage.

Now a price is extorted and it is called crime. This I believe, because the old is desired. It is why I do more than wonder. I think crime is now more than simply crime. There is more to it, and none of it is beneficial to the welfare of both people and country.

Yours faithfully,

GHK Lall

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