Yesterday the US Ambassador in Tirana spoke directly and harshly about a problem that has kept the public’s attention occupied for more than two weeks. He referred to organized crime and the empowerment that the latter gained of the last few years for multiple reasons, the main one being the tolerance of politics toward it, or even its relations with it!
Lu declared that in the country more than 20 criminal groups and 4 main clans are active. He claimed that drug trafficking is managed even from the prisons and has once again held the justice system responsible for many of the problems happening in this country. And Lu is right.
But Lu doesn’t know that the revenge of crime in this country isn’t similar from that in many other countries around the world.
Lu, for example, doesn’t know that many of the large media outlets in the country didn’t show any footage from the video from Elbasan, no news coverage except the short declaration of the police. He doesn’t know that many of the important shows haven’t mentioned the crime, or the threats that come from it, at all.
Lu doesn’t know that already for more than weeks to find journalists to come to the studio to discuss crime in Tirana or Vlora, Shkodra or Elbasan, has been a very difficult task. Their answer is simple: we’re afraid!
Lu doesn’t know that entire media conglomerates are fed with the money from cannabis traffic and all the black money in this country.
Lu doesn’t know that criminal money is combined in many companies with the money of legal and correct businessmen as a result of political influence.
Lu doesn’t know that crime in Albania is not hidden, as anywhere else around world, but is on full display. It’s enough to enter some night club or fancy bar to see the parade of gangs who legally spend millions of black money with an arrogance toward those who earn their money with honest work. It’s enough to walk on the streets of Bllok to see the defile of €250,000+ cars with tinted windows to understand where you’re living!
Lu doesn’t know, for example, that about one and a half year ago, when under the pressure of the media the police did an anti-drugs action in several night clubs in Tirana and closed several of them, nearly 1/4 of the deputies in Parliament sent concerned messages to the Ministry of Interior and police chiefs.
Lu has no means to this. But Lu spoke up because no one else did. No response. Neither the government, nor the opposition uttered a single word (except Berisha’s Facebook posts). Nor did the Minister of Interior Affairs speak, which for the sake of truth these days I have trust to bring no change in the state of crime in this country. But apparently I’m wrong!
There are two possible explanations for this silence:
Or politics is linked to crime and cannot fight it, or the government is afraid! There is no other explanation.
Lu spoke up and have a lot of hope that his speech will put things in motion. 13 and a half years ago, when Albanian was in the same critical situation, another US Ambassador, James Jeffrey, held a very harsh speech in Tirana. He turned to the criminals with the call: drug lords, we know you, we know where you are, and we will fight you!
Jeffrey’s declaration deeply changed the situation in the country. Today I hope that Lu’s declaration will have an even deeper effect. Because if Albanian politics may seem to have capitulated, the US and our partners still may raise our hopes.