Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 24th 2015 Contents A7
Saturday, January 24, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
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Two relatives of a 10-
year-old boy featured in
a video crying and clear-
ing bushes with a gar-
den hoe were detained
by police yesterday, even
as members of the pub-
lic expressed outrage
that the child was ini-
tially returned to the
Since being posted on
Thursday morning, the
video has gone viral on
social media sites with
over 20,000 people shar-
ing it and thousands of
sparking heated debates
on child abuse in T&T.
In the video, the boy
tells the woman filming
him that he has to clean
the entire plot of land
before one of the relatives
When prompted, he
raises his T-shirt and dis-
plays the bruises and
marks on his body that
he said he got after a
beating with a belt buck-
le.The T&T Guardian
contacted the woman
who shot the video, using
her cell phone, and vis-
ited her at her home in
Crown Trace, Enterprise,
Desiree Cabrales-Cupidore shows the lot of land where she filmed a ten-yea-old boy ploughing, at Circular Drive, Crown Trace, Enterprise.
PHOTO: KRISTIAN DE SILVA
Couple accused of
beating boy in video held
Head of the Central Division, Senior Supt
Johnny Abraham, said the officers in question
would face disciplinary action.
Abraham said the police were awaiting the
results of a medical done on the boy before
charges could be laid.
Psychologist Dianne Douglas, a guest on the
Morning Brew, yesterday, said one of the
problems with child abuse in T&T was that
different agencies were not working with each
She said the police were supposed to report the
incident to the Children's Authority.
Child rights activist, Diana Mahabir-Wyatt, who
heads the Child Protection Task Force, said the
Children's Authority was awaiting one final piece
of legislation before it could intervene in child
abuse cases referred to them by the police.
She said the legislation would be dealt with in
Parliament next week and might be proclaimed by
She said for now the police would have to act
on their own, adding, "Child labour and corporal
punishment are against the law.
"In cases like these, the police can pick up the
Mahabir-Wyatt said the Children's Authority,
though not fully up and running, could still work
with the police in such a situation.
"The authority is fully staffed. There are trained
people waiting to help abused children who are
COPS FACE DISCIPLINARY ACTION
Minister of Gender, Youth and Child
Development Clifton De Coteau said he was
disturbed after viewing the video.
In a media release, De Coteau said he saw the
video and was totally appalled and saddened by
He said he informed the director of National
Family Services and the Victim Support Services.
He said the family who were alleged to be
involved were then interviewed at the Chaguanas
De Coteau said the children were then taken by
police to the District Medical Officer (DMO) for
"At this juncture it is felt that the children are at
risk and so a community residence is currently
being sourced. Counselling is also being provided
to the mother."
"I would like all citizens to know we will execute
every measure possible to ensure the safety of
these children and I sincerely congratulate the
members of the public who brought this situation
to my attention. I ask the public to remain vigilant
as our children are our responsibility," he said.
MINISTER: I'M APPALLED
Cupidore, a mother of
one, said she and her
husband, Chris, were
chatting at the back of
their home around 9.15
am on Thursday when
they heard crying coming
from some bushes next
"We came outside and
were talking, when we
heard crying coming
from the bushes. When
we walked up this boy
was just weeding the
grass and crying," she
said. "I asked why he was
doing that and he said
he had to finish the work
before the male relative
comes home or he would
said the boy looked
exhausted and she
offered him something
said the boy told her the
male relative beats him
and his seven-year-old
brother. "I asked him
why he was not in school
and he said when he fin-
ish clean the land he
could go to school."
"He said he didn t eat
yet for the day. I want to
know how they could
find a boots for him to
wear but not something
for him to eat," she said.
"He said his mother does
not know about the
beatings and that he
could not go home."
She gave him two
pieces of cake and a
Smalta, all the while ask-
ing him about his home
"I asked him why he
was not in school and he
said when he finish clean
the land he could go to
who said she has known
the child s relatives her
entire life, was appalled.
She was even more
distressed when, after the
matter was reported to
the police and they took
the boy and his relatives
into custody, hours later
the police returned and
dropped the family back
off at their home.
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