Caribbean News Round-up

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Cops fear serial killer behind La Romain murders

POLICE INVOLVED SHOOTING[Trinidad Guardian] – Police are searching for a 38-year-old man responsible for the murder of Simon “Ila” Duntin, 51, who was hacked to death near his La Romain home on Tuesday night.

Police believe Duntin’s killer also chopped Samuel Mangroo to death on September 10 along the Southern Main Road, La Romain, a short distance away from where Duntin was murdered.

Mangroo, who was homeless, was attacked after picking avocados in the area.  Police said Duntin, who has a slight mental illness, may have been targeted by a murderer who seems to be targeting destitute and vulnerable victims.

Reports stated Southern Division Task Force officers were patrolling the Southern Main Road around 11 pm when a passerby alerted them to Duntin’s body which was lying across the pavement. When the officers checked, they found the body in front of Top Game Members Club.

Eyewitnesses reported that he was walking along the pavement when a man of East Indian descent, bearded and slim built, attacked him with a cutlass.

Duntin ran a short distance but fell to the ground. The attacker caught up with him and bludgeoned him to death. As passersby approached the killer ran through a yard and onto a nearby street.

When the T&T Guardian visited the crime scene yesterday, patrons at the bars nearby said they were not around when the murder happened.

Investigators said both Mangroo and Duntin’s murders had a similar pattern and the description of the suspect was the same.

They believe the killer lives in La Romain and was arrested two weeks ago by San Fernando CID for marijuana possession. They also believe he began attacking people after discovering he was HIV positive.

Searches were made for him but up to yesterday he could not be found. Police believe Duntin’s relatives may have also seen his attacker afterwards.

At Duntin’s home yesterday, his cousin Vicky-Ann John said he left home on Tuesday night to buy a cigarette and she got a phone call around 11.30 pm from her sister saying he was murdered.

She said when they arrived at the scene the Crime Scene Unit had already cordoned off the area but when she and other relatives were returning home they saw a man matching the suspect’s description but he ran when he saw them.

She said it appeared the killer knew her uncle as witnesses revealed that after the murder, he said: “I sent Ila home.”

Venezuela agrees to send gas to T&T

energy_0[Trinidad Guardian] –  The Venezuelan government has agreed to send its portion of the natural gas in the Loran/Manatee cross-border field to Trinidad and Tobago to be processed as Liquefied Natural Gas.

Multiple sources in both Caracas and Trinidad and Tobago have confirmed that the South American country has decided that it makes sense to have natural gas liquefied at the Point Fortin operations of Atlantic LNG and last Friday a technical team from the Bolivarian Republic visited the company to get a first hand view of its operations.

This is a major decision that is likely to lead to either the construction of a new LNG facility in Point Fortin or the redirection of gas from LNG for domestic use. Sources indicate that there is a shortage of between 400 to 600 million cubic feet of natural gas per day and once production is flowing from the Loran/Manatee field that gap will no longer exist.

The Business Guardian has been informed that while no decision has been taken on the new approach of Venezuela, the government is favouring the redirection of the natural gas rather than the further expansion of Atlantic LNG. This, the BG was told would ensure that the high cost of building a new plant and the length of time it will take for the construction is reduced.

In the first five months of 2015, natural gas production averaged 200 million cubic feet a day less than in 2014. For the period January to June 2015, natural gas production stood at 3.8 billion cubic feet per day (bcf/d). In 2015, it stood at just over 4 bcf/d.

A further examination of the lower production numbers show that the fall in production has been mainly due to lower output from bpTT. In fact, bpTT’s production moved from 2.18 bcf/d in January 2015 to 1.85 bcf/d by June this year. In 2014, bpTT’s average natural gas production was 2.165 bcf/d.

To put it in perspective the loss of 200 million cubic feet of natural gas per day is almost all the gas needed to power the entire country on a daily basis. It is also enough to service an ammonia or a methanol plant.

The fall in natural gas production has had a ripple effect on the sector because a reduction in the production does not just mean less money for the government at the well head, it also means lower production of other gas-based products.

For the first five month of 2015, LNG production was down by 175 mmcf/d averaging 2 bcf/d down from 2.178 bcf/d in 2014.

In a recent interview with the Business Guardian, Professor Andrew Jupiter urged negotiations with Venezuela to have access to the gas as a means of dealing with the natural gas shortage facing the country.

On the issue of the natural gas curtailment, local energy expert, Andrew Jupiter told BG that the country needed to produce 4.2 bcf per day to meet its demand and at present it was only producing close to 4bcf. He said this situation was likely to continue for some time and that the coming on stream of Juniper will make no real difference. [Extract]

 

Colombia peace deal with Farc rebels ‘within six months’

 

_85717362_85717361[BBC] – Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and the leader of the Farc rebel group have set a six-month deadline to sign a peace deal.

President Santos and the rebel leader known as Timochenko shook hands in Cuba, where the two sides have been holding peace talks since 2012.

On Wednesday, they reached agreement on how to punish human rights abuses committed during the conflict.

The issue had been seen as one of the biggest hurdles on the road to peace.

“We’re not going to fail! This is the chance for peace!,” President Santos said.

“On 23 March 2016 we will be bidding farewell to the longest-running conflict in the Americas,” he added.

“Let’s join efforts to achieve peace,” Farc leader Timochenko later posted on the rebels’ Twitter feed.

The guerrilla group also agreed to surrender its weapons within 60 days of a final accord being signed.

US Secretary of State John Kerry hailed the deal as “historic progress” and expressed his “deep appreciation to Pope Francis for his moral leadership and the Vatican’s good offices in the quest for peace”.

During his visit to Cuba, Pope Francis had alluded to previous failed peace negotiations between the two sides and warned them that “we can’t allow another failure on the road to peace and reconciliation”.

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