Pascal Sleiman, a Lebanese Forces party member and the coordinator for the Jbeil area, was found killed in Syria yesterday evening after being kidnapped at gunpoint on Sunday. Early investigations by the security forces and army intelligences revealed that a car theft gang was involved and that seven of its members have been arrested already.

The authorities are currently coordinating with Syrian authorities to repatriate the body, and investigations are still underway but everyone knows these will go in vain if the real problem persists, which is the mafia and militia-controlled security state. The real problem has never been catching the “executioners” in Lebanon, but rather the facilitators and those who provide cover for all sorts of gangs, from human and drug trafficking gangs, to all sorts of thieves and criminals …

In the past four years, we’ve had several crimes unresolved. To name few, Joe Bejjani, a photographer, was shot dead in front of his house in broad daylight four years ago, Lebanese Forces official Elias Hasrouni was kidnapped and killed near his hometown last year and journalist and activist Lokman Slim was shot dead in his car.

Not a single arrest has been done in these crimes because the killers got away, and there wasn’t enough tension in the street for the authorities to intervene. That’s a very unfortunate thing to say, but that’s the reality of things. The authorities only intervene seriously when there are tensions following an incident and almost always manage to arrest the criminals, or should we call them the “scapegoats”.

It’s the same scenario every time: The local militias controlling the borders and covering for these criminals will give away few criminals to cool the tensions and cover up the crime, and slowly but surely things will cool down until the next kidnapping or murder.

We will never have accountability or justice for these victims without a strong state capable of disarming and dismantling all militias and armed gangs, and more importantly controlling our borders. Until then, good luck surviving in this jungle!