Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 16th 2014 Contents A8
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt November 16, 2014
Former president of the Brasso Seco Village
Council Ambrose Lewis says the rural com-
munity is heading down a slippery slope
because of youth delinquency. He said alco-
hol, marijuana and liming on the block are
damaging the close-knit village and young
people in the village are being led astray by
Lewis appealed for the country s spiritual
leaders and the People s Partnership govern-
ment to intervene and save the community
from ruin. He said in the last four years, the
Government has done very little to improve
living standards for Brasso Seco s 300 residents
and their parliamentary representative, Arima
MP Rodger Samuel, has not been giving them
He said challenges caused by population
growth, roads and access, land tenure, devel-
opment, security, unemployment and lack of
amenities contributed to the problems that
have been plaguing the farming community
Although letters were written to Prime Min-
ister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and Samuel in
2012 highlighting these concerns, they are yet
to be addressed, he said.
Brasso Seco was thrust into the national
spotlight on October 26, when police officers
embarked on a search for five members of a
family who had been abducted from their
home---Irma Rampersad, 49, Felicia Gonzales,
17, Jenelle Gonzales, 19, one-year-old Shania
Amoroso and Felix Martinez, 52.
Three bodies were found in the forest and
post-mortem examinations confirmed the
adult remains were of Martinez and Rampersad
who were both strangled. However, the post-
mortem done on remains presumed to be that
of Shania was inconclusive due to the advanced
state of decomposition.
On Friday, Rampersad s teenage daughters,
Felicia and Jenelle, were found alive at a
makeshift camp deep inside the Brasso Seco
forest. Two armed men who opened fire on
the police as they approached the camp were
still at large up to press time yesterday. Police
have issued an all-points bulletin for Azmon
Alexander, also known as Pappi and Apalon
who they described as a person of interest
and a known fugitive.
Head of the Northern Division Task Force,
Insp Roger Alexander, said a bounty should
be placed on the head of the wanted man.
Criminals shifting from
urban to rural communities
Expressing regret about the tragic devel-
opments in his community, Lewis, 62, blamed
the worsening crime situation there on the
lack of amenities.
"We have nothing in Brasso Seco. No employ-
ment, no recreational ground, no factories and
no development. A few months ago, the bus
service under the Public Transport Service Cor-
poration was taken away for reasons unknown.
Now villagers have to pay a car $20 to take
them to Arima. Even the Cepep and forestry
programmes were stopped. To me Brasso Seco
is a forgotten land ... like we don t exist. We
are suffering with years of neglect."
He said the community s health centre opens
once a week for clinic and doctor s visits.
"In case there is an medical emergency you
have to either go to Sangre Grande Hospital
or the Arima Health Facility. By the time you
reach there you dead. When you sick you can t
even get a painkiller up here. This is what we
have to put up with."
The community activist said he could not
remember the last time he saw the MP in the
"We are not being represented. Samuel
needs to hear our concerns. We have to work
together," he said.
Lewis said unemployment is a major prob-
lem in Brasso Seco and young people with
nothing today are easily influenced by people
who enter their community.
"The youths in here are lost on marijuana
and puncheon rum. It s a lost generation. They
are easily swayed and misdirected when some-
one comes into the community. Criminals are
shifting from the urban to rural areas. A crim-
inal cannot work unless he gets help from
someone. I know it have a migration of crim-
inals moving back and forth. The police have
to step in and stop them before it is too late."
Lewis added: "If the village had a steady
stream of work and a recreational facility it
would have been hard for outsiders to take
the youth down a wrong path."
He also believes lack of parental guidance
is a contributing factor to youth delinquen-
"Parents are not guiding their children the
right way. As a father and grandfather I keep
my children in line. My child could be 100
years old and I would still correct him or her.
You not coming in my house to do what you
Lewis said Brasso Seco was once a safe
haven where villagers could have slept with
their doors and windows open at nights.
He said since the discovery of the bodies
he would lock up his house at 7 pm and remain
"We have to move forward. Right now we
are heading down a slippery slope. It is not
going to be easy to bring back the community
to what it was, considering the madness that
has taken place but we have to try and save
our community. This thing hurting me because
I knew the victims ... they were nice people
... my neighbours." Continues on Page A9
of the Brasso Seco
PHOTO: ABRAHAM DIAZ
RESIDENTS LIVING IN FEAR AFTER
ABDUCTIONS AND MURDERS
"The youths in
here are lost
rum. It's a lost
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