Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 18th 2015 Contents A19
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Victims of sexually abusive priests
from across the Americas joined
forces Monday to urge Pope Francis to
allow civilian justice to punish
pedophiles and those who covered up
From the United States to
Argentina, Chile, Mexico and other
nations, victims issued a letter made
public in Mexico City telling the
Argentine pontiff that "words are not
The letter said that only civilian
trials and Church reform will put an
end to the "great holocaust of
thousands of boys and girls who were
sacrificed to avoid scandal and salvage
the image and prestige of the Catholic
Church's representatives in the world."
The victims said the pope's recent
warnings of sex abuse in the Church
are "ambiguous and contradictory"
because they do not lead to any
"institutional process toward truth
Pope Francis has called for "zero
tolerance" of abusive priests since his
election in March 2013.
Pedophile priest victims urge action from pope
Cuban state media reported on
Monday that two people had been
sentenced for killing four would-be
migrants in June.
Five more people were also sentenced
in connection with a scheme which
conned Cubans into believing they
would be smuggled out of the country
only for their fare to be stolen from
It is not clear from the report how
the four were killed.
Thousands of Cubans have left the
Communist-run island illegally for the
US since the revolution.
State-run newspaper Granma said
the seven people had conspired to cheat
Cubans who wanted to leave the island
out of their money.
They told would-be migrants they
could smuggle them off the island and
into the US by sea in exchange for an
unnamed sum of money.
Eleven people signed up, according
to the paper.
On the agreed day, they took them
one by one to a remote location in
Artemisa province, west of the capital,
There, they attacked them in order
to steal the money they had agreed to
pay for their passage.
Four died in the attack.
Jorge Luis Salazar Ricardo and Reinier
Armas Garcia were sentenced to life in
prison for their murder.
The five other accused were sen-
tenced to jail terms ranging from
between eight and 25 years.
Even though the need for govern-
ment-issued exit permits in Cuba was
lifted in 2013, many Cubans still choose
to pay people smugglers rather than
risk being turned down for a passport
or a visa.
Any Cuban who sets foot on Amer-
ican soil is entitled to stay there and
thousands are willing to risk their lives
on makeshift boats or rafts.
Last year, the US Coast Guard inter-
cepted more than 2,000 Cubans trying
to do that.---BBC
Cubans sentenced for
killing would-be migrants
Egypt s public prosecutor has
referred former President Mohamed
Morsi and several officials of the
banned Muslim Brotherhood to a mil-
itary court, on charges of committing
violence, Egyptian state media has
The military court has set the start
of the trial for February 23, the Al-
Ahram newspaper reported yesterday.
Morsi is accused of incitement to
violence, disturbing public order and
Morsi already faces four other ongo-
ing trials, but this is the first time that
his case has been referred to a military
The other defendants include
Mohamed Beltagy and Khairat al-
Shater, a businessman and key Muslim
The latest charge against the former
president stemmed from protests that
broke out in Suez on August 14, 2013,
the day police broke up pro-Morsi
protest camps in the capital Cairo, and
killed hundreds of his supporters in
Morsi himself was already detained
at an undisclosed location by the mil-
itary at the time, but the prosecution
alleges he incited the protests that left
31 people dead over two days.
Military trials have been criticised
for their harsh and swift verdicts.
Morsi has repeatedly denied his role
in the violence in Egypt, and said that
he does not recognise the legitimacy
of the courts hearing the charges against
He said that those in the military
responsible for ousting him should be
behind bars. Al Jazeera
Egypt's Morsi to face
trial in military court
Prime Minister Evans Paul can-
celled the country s carnival cel-
ebration yesterday after a deadly
accident involving a parade float.
At least 20 people were killed
and more than 40 injured early
yesterday morning, at the end of
the second day of Haiti s packed
The deaths occurred after a
packed carnival float, transporting
fans and members of the Hip Hop
Kreyol group Barikad Crew passed
underneath a low-hanging power
line on the Champ de Mars, the
People on the scene told jour-
nalists that someone used a pole
to move the power line so the float
A brief video on Twitter shows
electricity striking lead singer Fan-
tom s microphone in a flashing
spark, and panic ensuing. Fantom
was among those injured and is at
a local hospital, say friends of the
Others, however, weren t as
Some people on the float were
killed after being electrocuted and
others in the ground after a stam-
There were conflicting reports
on the number of casualties. Nadia
Lochard, a co-ordinator for the
Department of Civil Protection for
the Port-Au-Prince region, said at
least 46 were injured.
"We know of at least 15 people
who have died," Lochard told the
Lochard said they were making
the rounds at hospitals to find out
how many were injured, but for
now the number stood at 42. She
said authorities are reviewing video
footage to find out what exactly
sparked the accident.
Rotchild Francois said the accident
occurred at 2.48 am.
Video from the scene shows
Haitian ambulance crews racing
through the crowds with victims
Hundreds of people thronged
the General Hospital, where many
of the victims were taken, some
carrying victims and others search-
ing for family members brought
by ambulance, the Guardian
"I saw the wire falling and sparks
and I started running for my life,"
said Natacha Saint Fleur, a 22-
year-old who was near the float
at the time.
Rothchild Francis said the govern-
ment was working to assist vic-
It is a common practice in Haiti
and elsewhere to have someone at
the top of a parade float who
moves low-hanging power lines.
In Brazil, officials said three people
were killed when they were elec-
trocuted while standing atop a
Carnival float that hit a power line
early yesterday on the outskirts of
Rio de Janeiro. Sources: Guardian,
Miami Herald, Associated Press
20 dead after
power line falls
on Haiti carnival float
Ex-president of Egypt Mohamed
Morsi, who already faces four other
civilian trials, is accused of inciting
violence and disturbing public order.
Injured people lie down as they receive treatment at the emergency room of the General Hospital in Port-au-
Prince, Haiti yesterday. AP PHOTO
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