Maxine Williams

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Over the course of four days beginning on 4 June 1999, Nankisoon Boodram (aka Dole Chadee) and eight of his criminal gang were hanged in Port of Spain, Trinidad, for the murder of one of their alleged associates and his family. I understand that on the day of Chadee's hanging, a man was murdered at a gas station one block away from the gallows and another was murdered in the sleepy fishing village of Mayaro. These, and the countless other murders which followed that weekend of hangings, are the examples given by opponents of the mandatory death penalty in Trinidad and Tobago to demonstrate the senselessness of government-sanctioned homicide as a deterrent for murder.…  Seguir leyendo »

Trinidad and Tobago elected its first female prime minister on Monday. Kamla Persad-Bissessar took a multiparty coalition to victory over the People's National Movement (PNM) and its leader, Patrick Manning, who had been in power for 13 of the last 17 years.

During this campaign, Persad-Bissessar's gender was used by the opposition to appeal to deepseated but, hopefully, bygone fears. Manning repeatedly painted Persad-Bissessar as a pawn in the hands of strong and dangerous men and suggested that "the lady" was not strong enough to rule. Persad-Bissessar, by contrast, bravely appeared on her campaign platforms to the tune of Helen Reddy's "I Am Woman" and made many references to her roles as a mother and grandmother.…  Seguir leyendo »