Caribbean News Round-up

"Who killed the 19?" reads the banner held by a group protesting against impunity in Sao Paulo


Kamla calls PNM Government a minority

Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar
Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar

[Trinidad Express] – IN her maiden contribution in Parliament as Opposition Leader, Kamla Persad-Bissessar called Government a “minority” one, because it only gained 34 per cent of the electoral votes.

Referring to Finance Minister Colm Imbert, Persad-Bissessar said: “His government is a minority one.”

She could not complete her sentence as she was interrupted by laughter and table thumping from members of the Opposition and comments from the Government’s side.

House Speaker Brigid Annisette-George had to interject with “order please.”

Persad-Bissessar leads off the Budget Debate which began on Friday at 10 a.m. at Parliament, International Waterfront Centre, Port-of-Spain.

In the first three minutes of the presentation she took the opportunity to throw jabs at the Government especially Imbert who she said insulted more than half of the population in his budget presentation on Monday.

Imbert has said on Monday that “the people of Trinidad and Tobago rejected the politics of deception, betrayal, greed, arrogance, waste and mismanagement”.

Persad-Bissessar said her budget statement would focus on “deception” admitted the People’s Partnership made mistakes while in Government and were paying the electoral price.

Persad-Bissessar said, “Madame Speaker, I take this opportunity to thank God and the over 341, 000 persons representing 31 per cent of the electorate who made it possible for us to take our seats on this side of this honourable House by voting for us. Thereby placing us at this time subject to any court rulings just three seats away from Government.”

She said: “Again to them all, I say thank you as I give them and the people of Trinidad and Tobago, the assurance that we on this side of the House fully intend to carry out our oath of office and to discharge our responsibilities thereunder as a loyal Opposition of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. Whilst the Honourable Minister of Finance boasted that the people of Trinidad and Tobago placed their confidence in his party, I say respectfully but perhaps he needs to remind himself, lest he grows more arrogant, that they received the support of only 34 per cent of the electorate. Which means that 66, two thirds of the electorate did not support them. In other words, his government is a minority one.” [Extract]


6 dead in massacre linked to lottery scam

POLICE INVOLVED SHOOTING[Jamaica Observer] – Gunmen allegedly pounced on a family of 10 in Logwood, Hanover last night, killing six members before setting the nine-apartment board house ablaze.

Two teens and an elderly woman are reportedly dead while another teen and an elderly man are said to be in critical condition at hospital.

When contacted, the police’s Corporate Communications Unit (CCU) said police were still processing the scene. The unit was unable to provide further details.

Meanwhile, Security Minister Peter Bunting has linked Thursday night’s killing of a family in Hanover to lottery scamming.

“We are seeing how much of a danger lottery scamming is to the security of our country, Bunting said in condemning the killings. “We are paying for it with the precious lives of innocent citizens, men women and children.”

Bunting added:  “This morning’s heinous crime shows that scamming not only affects those who participate and directly profit from it; but those who associate with them even where those associations are distant.”

He also made mention of the elderly along with the very young being targeted because of associations with individuals who are involved in the illegal activity.

“This price is too high, and as a society we must put a stop to this evil practice before it destroys our country, family by family, community by community,” Bunting said.


Rogue Brazilian police officers arrested

"Who killed the 19?" reads the banner held by a group protesting against impunity in Sao Paulo
“Who killed the 19?” reads the banner held by a group protesting against impunity in Sao Paulo

[BBC] – Police in Brazil have arrested nine of their fellow officers suspected of carrying out a series of killings on the outskirts of Sao Paulo.

Investigators say they were probably seeking revenge after the shooting of an off-duty policeman during a robbery in the area.

Nineteen people were killed within several hours on 13 August.

Witnesses in various locations said masked gunmen pulled up in a car before opening fire.

In many cases they checked the victims’ names before shooting or asked if they had criminal records.

The nine suspects were arrested in a major police operation across the Sao Paulo area.

More than 400 policemen took part in the operation. They seized guns, mobile phones and other objects.

‘Rogue policemen’

The August attacks happened in the municipal areas of Osasco and Barueri.

Sao Paulo State Governor Geraldo Alckmin promised a swift investigation and set up a special task force.

But nearly two months after the attacks, only one suspect had been arrested.

Human rights groups say there is a high number of people are killed every year in Brazil either in police custody or by rogue policemen.

In the city of Rio de Janeiro alone military police have been responsible for more than 1,500 deaths in the last five years, the UK-based campaign group Amnesty International says.

Amnesty says that in some cases officers shot suspects who had surrendered or had been wounded.

Police trade unions say officers often come under fire from drug dealers and other criminals.

Relatives plead with children to obey parents as teen killed in accident

ROAD-ACCIDENT[Trinidad Express] – Relatives of 17-year-old Selena Brown, who died after a car accident in Longdenville on September 27, have a strong message for children of Trinidad and Tobago–“listen to your parents”.

This was the message sent by Brown’s family yesterday morning while speaking to the media at the Forensic Science Centre in St James, where they awaited the autopsy results for the teenager’s death.

“One thing I want to say for the children out there, when we (adults) are speaking to y’all…listen. Try and remember that we would have had the experience on certain things that we ourselves would have passed through when we were younger and we just want to pass on that experience to y’all. So when we are telling you some things. Please try and listen. My grandmother always used to tell me ‘friends does carry you and doh bring you back’…today I fully understand what that saying means,” Selena’s father Francis Brown lamented.

“My daughter is dead right now because she said she was going one place, and end up at another, because she was following someone else. So please, children out there, if you tell your dad or mom you reaching round the corner and coming back…go right there and come back, especially if you get that permission. If you don’t have permission, stay home. But if you do, keep to your word…because at the end of day there are no benefits to the unknown. Life is strange… one decision can affect your life and today you would be here and tomorrow you aren’t,” he pleaded.

Selena, who was a Form Five pupil at Success Laventille Secondary School, was hit while crossing the road in the vicinity of a popular bar in Longdenville last month.

The vehicle she was hit by was driven by a police officer.

The wounded teenager was taken to Chaguanas District Health Facility, before being transferred to Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex, Mount Hope.

But she succumbed to her injuries on Monday evening.



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