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Dottin: Drug lords feel they can buy anybody

By Jensen LaVende jensen.lavende@trinidadexpress.com

CHURCHES must do more in order to curb the escalation of crime in the country, Pastor Clive Dottin said yesterday during an interview with TV6's Morning Edition.

Dottin said the criminal situation has the country on an edge, and the church has to play a significant role.

"We've got to move the churches away from the pulpit and transfer them outside; we have to engage people not just on the preaching level but on a one-to-one," Dottin said.

Dottin, on Tuesday, at the funeral service of murdered police officer Sgt Hayden Manwaring, said criminals in the country are internationally recruited to become assassins. Yesterday, he said there is an international aspect to the local criminal underworld.

Dottin said there is no political institution locally or regionally that is willing to take on those who own the drug trade and who import the drugs and "set up" the young people.

He called on those in authority not to let the death of Manwaring, who was described as an honest, hardworking policeman, to be in vain as only honesty can fight crime.

Asked by Morning Edition host Hayden Blades why communities have not stood up against the few criminals, Dottin said the communities are bought by these men and, in return, they are protected.

"I begged police and soldiers and those at the funeral not to be part of the JI Club (Judas Incorporated). The gangster is one thing, but when you have to fight against those who are to protect and serve the citizens of this country, then you have a compound problem," Dottin said.

He added that behind every corrupt security officer, there is a lawyer, a politician, a customs officer and a businessman, of course. Below, he says there are the guys on the ground, and below that, you have the recruiting campaign.

Dottin said change in governments is not the answer, but there must be a constitutional and campaign financing reformation.

"The campaign financing is where we affirm the godfathers of the drug trade and gun dealers because every general elections, they feel that they could buy the political parties," Dottin said, adding the criminal underworld is also financed by State funds from URP (Unemployment Relief Programme) and CEPEP (Community-based Environmental Protection and Enhancement Programme).

Dottin said grandparents should be allowed to enjoy their retirement and parents must accept their responsibility, and fathers need to be made responsible for their children.

Despite the doom and gloom of the country's crime situation, Dottin assured that with courage and testicular fortitude, "we can still save the society".

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