EYEWITNESS: Examining… the (forensic) examiners

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Your Eyewitness has been baffled by our inability to get a proper forensic lab going. What could be more embarrassing that sending a piece of evidence from the Henry cousins’ crime scene to St Lucia for processing. Yeah, St Lucia!! Where the population is 182,000!! Less than that of Georgetown, for crying out loud!

But a $1.049B Forensic Lab, had been commissioned back in July 2014 at Turkeyen, just before the PNC coalition slid into office. With their top-heavy security brass, the Guyanese people were assured that we’d have our very own CSI unit cracking cases faster that you can “rack back and crack” nuts at a cricket game!! But they soon told us they had to spend US$248,000 or Gy$50,000,000 to “purify the air”! So, what happened between 2015 and 2019? God only knows!!

For it was only in mid-2019 that then Public Security Munster Ramjattan assured us that, after four years of waiting, we’d finally been supplied with a DNA analysis machine – costing some $98 million. The man who was to single-handedly nab nefarious Russian spies sneaking in to rig our elections assured us that the (pathetic) days of sending samples abroad for DNA testing were over. So, what happened? The PNC Govt and Ramjattan’s brain trust didn’t think ahead to train technicians to utilise the equipment? We’re the pics in the newspapers just to show they were “doing something” about solving crimes just before the elections.

Now, your Eyewitness had followed the developments (or lack thereof) of Forensic Capabilities with fervid interest. Not just because he had skin in the game (as a citizen who could be murdered at any moment by bandits who would get off scot free) but because he was a fan of the “crack crime sleuths” whose exploits he’s devoured from the days of his dissolute youth. Hadn’t he even memorised the seven “Principles of forensic science”?

Yes, dear reader, there are seven principles of this “scientific discipline directed to the recognition, identification, individualisation and evaluation of physical evidence.” And what are these, you ask? There’s the “law of individuality”, which states that every object, natural or man-made, has unique characteristics, like fingerprints. Then there’s the “Principle of exchange”, or “Locard’s exchange principle” – which is your Eyewitness’s favourite. This declares that “when a criminal or his instrument of crime comes in contact with the victim or the objects surrounding him, they leave traces, and the criminal or his instrument picks up traces from the same contact.” To be picked up by Forensics!

But, unfortunately, there’s the Law of Progressive Change: “everything changes with the passive of time – including crime scenes.”
As we hope didn’t happen in West Berbice!

…Maduro’s brinkmanship

As Maduro continues to “play the fool” on our Essequibo border, let’s focus on the word “play”, because Maduro’s no fool; there’s a method to his madness. One theory is that he’s trying to drag the US and China into what is called “The Thucydides Trap”.

As we learnt back in high school, Thucydides was the ex-General who wrote the classic account of the Great War between the superpowers of the ancient world – pre-eminent Sparta and the rising star Athens. He called it the Peloponnesian Wars.

Some say there are parallels between this situation that exists right now, when the incumbent superpower for the last century – the USA – is being challenged by China’s rise. Back then, the two superpowers weren’t daft enough to have a go at it directly – it was like “mutually assured destruction” (MAD)! But they each had allies, and it was these allies that went to war and dragged the superpowers in.

Is Maduro counting on China to back him against US ally, Guyana?

…debt ceilings

Winston Jordan got his buckta in a knot because Finance Minister Ashni Singh just announced increased permissible internal and external debt ceilings for our country.

When Jordan moved from the Budget Office to become a Minister, didn’t his bank increase his debt ceiling?