Anaesthetized, by the current spirit of lawlessness

Green Areas Protection laws, Birdlife Protection Laws,Most of us are numb to all accidents, break-ins, and vandalism, as dished every morning in great flowery detail by the island’s media.

Coremento zigzag, chauffeur burachi, dogcatcher, ranca borchi, perde control, auto na werki, detencion masal, fiesta illegal, cap cu machete, it all sounds like fun in creole Papiamento, especially one quote from this morning, pasa un anochi den sangura drumi den cel, and by creole Papiamento I mean the casual, street-version, the more-than-slightly subversive style of crime reporting here.

I think it is the lightness of heart, the chispa, the juiciness of Papiamento, the air of tongue and cheek, that totally numbs us to whatever is happening, we are left unfeeling by the lack of a formal description of the infraction/violation, it all sounds like a game of cops and robbers to us.

Late last week we were informed that ‘Polis a topa cu droga, arma y 30 ilegal scondi den ex-Different Bar na Palm Beach.’ Thirty undocumented individuals from Columbia and Venezuela were living in an abandoned Chine restaurant compound!!!! Drugs??? Arms??? On Palm Beach!!!

And no one raised an eyebrow.

It was just a news item among many others.

(Thirteen out of fifteen news items described beatings, break-ins, violence and general unacceptable illegal behavior, that morning.)

The undocumented party was apparently arrested, and brought to the GNC compound where five of them took the ceiling apart and dismantled the roof, running to freedom across the airport runway, where the tower noticed suspicious activity, and reported it to the authorities, at which point ALL resources from ALL districts were mobilized for a two-hour search, two fugitives found, three still at large.

 It was just one news item among many others. No one raised an eye brow.

Just like education, and social care, law enforcement in underfunded and understaffed, and undertrained and over its head!

The GNC facility at the back of the airport — Trudy Hassel domain, made headlines in recent months, as detainees have more than once voiced protests over inadequate services, peppered by human rights violations, cramped spaces, and disrespectful handling.

(The Daily Herald just reported that there is a majority support in The Hague, to take over the St Maarten jail for a five-year period, good for them, it will radically improve the situation there. Can we also ask them to take over the subpar GNC facility?)

As I peruse the menu of accidents again, this morning, I know there is something wrong with the phenomenon of drinking at bars and beaches and just driving away.

What happened to the Police weekend traffic-control activity? Where is the breathalyzer? Years ago there were no supplies. Then there were supplies, but they needed training, then it seemed the law was not in order, to facilitate testing.  And then nobody talked about it anymore. And nothing happened.

I already gave you the list last week, of our totally ignored laws, which are in need of serious enforcement:  Dog Laws, Litter Laws, Child Seat Laws, Tax Laws, Tinted Window Laws, RHD Car laws, Green Areas Protection laws, Birdlife Protection Laws, Talking-On-Cell-Phones-While-Driving Laws, Driving Under Influence Laws, Child Protection Laws, and a million other issues we avoid managing.

Why is the MinJust protecting spear fishermen who are violating laws and international treaties? Defending tinted glass car windows which are clearly a safety hazard and right hand drives?

The pandemic brought out the best and the worst in people, and the current spirit of lawlessness is the worst!


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July 06, 2020
Rona Coster