President Ancel Roget during JTUM’s post-Budget news briefing at the Communication Worker’s Union Hall, Port- of-Spain, yesterday. PICTURE KERWIN PIERRE
JTUM blames ‘young black men’ for country’s crimes
AKASH SAMAROO - Senior Reporter

The Joint Trade Union Movement ( JTUM) is pointing the finger at “young black males” for being the chief perpetrators of crime in this country.

But president Ancel Roget claims that the Government will turn a blind eye to this because it could affect its supporter base.

Speaking at JTUM’s post-Budget news briefing yesterday at CWU Hall in Port-of-Spain, Roget acknowledged how controversial his blaming one ethnic group could be perceived, but he challenged people to contradict him based on facts.

“The demographics in that, that some people do not like to hear, the majority of persons that we know, we see committing those crimes are young black men, they don’t like to hear it but let me say it because I am not afraid to say it,” Roget declared.

He even offered a speculative guess as to why he felt empowered to make that statement.

“They are at the lowest rung of the economic ladder in a cesspool of hopelessness where they feel that the only way out is crime and criminal activity,” the JTUM president added.

Roget then blamed the Dr Keith Rowley-led Government for not taking an interest in finding out why “this group is so predisposed to committing all these murders.

“And I’m not saying that other groups don’t eh, because you now have the Venezuelan criminals joining gangs and also committing murders. But the majority, and I would like anybody to contest me, the majority of those persons committing those dastardly acts are young African males,” Roget posited.

Roget went as far as to accuse the Government of ignoring the issue so as not to upset a segment of their supporters.

“While they will look for this group to support them, they will never do anything to lift those who are the lowest rung of the economic ladder out of the doldrums they are in. And once you continue to support them, to be PNM until you’re dead, you will be a dead PNM-mite,” Roget postulated.

He warned whom he called “PNM sycophants” to be aware that their political affiliation would not save them from the horrors of crime.

“So, they can rant and rave and misbehave, pull out their weave, pull out their hair, call-in in their talk show programmes with their sycophants, that is the reality.

“And you know the reality is that they too will be impacted and the only time that they feel it is when the criminal comes home, when they invade their home or when they kick people on the streets in full view of the population,”

Roget said referring to a recent robbery along Charlotte Street in Port-of-Spain.

Guardian Media reached out to the Emancipation Support Committee of Trinidad and Tobago for a response to Roget’s claims, however, the committee asked for more time to comprehensively review his statement and then respond accordingly.

Questions and requests for comment were also sent to Minister of Youth Development and National Service Foster Cummings but he did not immediately respond to calls or text messages.

Back in April this year, following a spate of home invasions and robberies in the Aranguez district, Pundit Satyanand Maharaj asserted that “urban youth” along the East-West corridor were targeting people of East Indian descent in Aranguez, San Juan, and across the country.

His comments were immediately challenged as being racist by a resident who attended the media conference.

The pundit also went on to say the perpetrators of crime, “all have the same complexion, they all come from the same ethnic group.”

‘Somebody decides you should die’

Meanwhile, continuing his macabre pronouncements on the state of crime in the country, Roget said life or death now comes down to a simple equation.

“The only reason why you and I are alive today is because somebody has not taken the position to take your life out as yet, somebody has not decided that you should die. The moment in this country that somebody decides that you should die, you are going  to die because the Government and all its agencies cannot protect you,” Roget lamented.

He again criticised the Rowley-led administration for not taking full responsibility for the problem.

Roget also questioned why people were not being arrested for the recent large gun find by police officers going as far as hazarding a guess.

“Because every two by four country would set up sting operations, but you know why they can’t do that? They will not do that because of the people who have high connections in the Government who are the importers,” Roget alleged.

He added he was not afraid to make such claims as he wants “absolutely no PNM friends”.