FORMER President Donald Ramotar recently wrote about a presumed escalation of local crimes, but with his typical reliance on anecdotal evidence, rather than statistics or facts to see what escalation he is talking about.
Just as he brings up the odd theft, anyone could easily bring up counter-points, like the police recently catching and killing five heavily armed thieves in the act.
He tries to paint this picture of bleak economic performance driving crime but, frankly, what crime we do see is in no way an escalation over that seen under the PPP/C.
What it is, is simply a different type of crime. Perhaps the former president doesn’t think corruption is a crime, or money laundering or drug smuggling. As multiple international measures have shown, Guyana was doing significantly worse under the tenure of his party, drawing comparisons with all kinds of kleptocracy.
It seems to me that in the mind of the former president, it’s only a crime if it’s committed by poor people. Those who use their public office to siphon off hundreds of millions from the public coffers are not criminals. Those who dodge their fair share of taxes, undermining the entire country’s development, are not criminals. Drug lords who run rampant, casually carrying out extra-judicial killings are not criminals.
No, they are just businessmen!
The heart of the matter is that an economic slowdown is to be expected, while the coalition cleans up the hot mess that was left them by the former president. That process is coming along well, and for the first half of this year we even saw a 4.5% growth rate, which is excellent. Guyanese are certainly seeing the depth of the coalition’s effort to make Guyana a just, reasonable, law-abiding society. Soon they will also see a prosperous economy with the advent of oil. Under the former president, only God knows what they would have seen.