Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 16th 2013 Contents Minimum wage still to be reviewed --- McLeod News --- Page A6
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Wednesday, October 16, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
for 15th OCTOBER, 2013
The Venezuelan Navy has intercepted a fishing
vessel from T&T, Venezuelan newspaper El Uni-
versal reported yesterday.
Up to last evening, however, officials in the Min-
istry of Foreign Affairs had not been able to confirm
the identities of the T&T nationals or where they
were being detained.
News of the detention came via a Twitter post
on Monday from general Vladimir Padrino López,
chief of the Strategic Operational Command of the
National Armed Forces.
His post read: "Sovereignty shall be respected. A
Trinidadian vessel was intercepted carrying out
fishing operations in the Exclusive Economic Zone
without authorisation. (The vessel has been) escorted
His tweet gave no further details on the size of
the vessel or the status of the crew. Carúpano is a
city in Sucre state, north-east Venezuela. Officials
at the Foreign Ministry had not responded to an e-
mail seeking more information on the incident up
to last evening.
T&T Coast Guard officials also indicated they
had no reports of the incident. However, the
Guardian was informed the vessel belongs to a Toba-
go-based company and the captain and crew have
maintained they were in T&T waters.
The incident occurred two days before Guyana
and Venezuela are scheduled to meet in T&T to
discuss a second, unrelated maritime border incident
which occurred off the Venezuelan coast last week.
On Thursday, Teknik Perdana, a 285-foot, US-
chartered oil exploration ship hired by Guyana and
flying under a Panamanian flag, was intercepted by
the Venezuelan Navy and sailed to Margarita Island.
The ship s captain has been charged and released,
Guyana s government said the crew was well
within Guyana s territorial waters, but Venezuelan
officials said the ship entered their exclusive eco-
Guyana s government on Saturday requested a
meeting with Venezuelan officials to discuss the
seizure, which its foreign ministry earlier called an
"unprecedented" act in Guyana-Venezuela rela-
The Venezuelan Foreign Office later announced
that its Foreign Minister, Elías Jaua, and his Guyanese
counterpart, Carolyn Rodrigues, are to meet in Port-
of-Spain tomorrow. See Page A26
Decendants of Amerindians from different countries gather at the Lopinot River to perform an indigenous water ritual dedicated
to the ancestors yesterday. The ceremony formed part of the Amerindian Heritage Week 2013 dedicated to the ancestors.
PHOTO: EDISON BOODOOSINGH
T&T fishing boat
seized in Venezuela
From Page A1
COHA said in T&T and Jamaica, gangs
have a "very unusual and ultimately far
more dangerous effect on their surrounding
Claiming T&T had more than 100 gangs,
COHA said in the absence of an adequate
legal system, gangs "outsource their justice
in situations as trivial as parents disciplining
Responding to the findings of the report
yesterday, National Security Minister Gary
Griffith said for far too long, gangs have been
allowed to build their clientele to the extent
where they have acquired "certain streets
and blocks which they consider their own."
"We have created a monster and we are
the ones who need to destroy it," Griffith
said in a telephone interview.
"I am not at all surprised. When I first
took this position I realised one of the biggest
problems we have is gang activity and we
cannot continue to sit idly by and continue
to bury our head in the sand and think that
giving out these contracts is going to stop
criminal activity...it is just the opposite."
Asked to specify who the "we" referred
to, since his comment referred to a recent
promise he made to stop the practice of state
contracts being given to gang leaders, Griffith
said previous governments, as this problem
stemmed from the days of the Unemploy-
ment Relief Programme (URP).
Saying the Government needed to do a
proper audit of the social projects, Griffith said
these programmes have become an avenue for
mass misappropriation of funds which are fil-
tered into the hands of gang leaders.
"So where the plan was to have these proj-
ects reduce crime, it has in fact been increas-
ing crime," Griffith added.
He said a new anti-crime measure expected
to be rolled out within the coming weeks
was an initiative, headed by him, in which
people would be urged to pass on information
about gangs and other criminal activities.
"Anybody who feels they have proper
information to bring down these individuals,
I am providing an avenue for them which I
personally would be co-ordinating. I am ask-
ing the country to trust me on this," Griffith
Result of poor decisions
Public relations officer for the PNM Faris
Al-Rawi said yesterday the COHA s report
was especially tragic, as T&T was "wrestling"
to diversify its economy through tourism and
trade. He also criticised the PP Government
for dumping anti-crime measures imple-
mented by the previous administration.
"The PNM has cautioned the Government
and people of T&T on umpteen occasions
as to the deleterious effect of the Govern-
ment s wilful dismantling of national security
systems and services," Al Rawi said.
"In particular, we have been at pains to
demand a replacement of the Anti-Gang
Unit of the Special Anti-Crime Unit of T&T
(Sautt), which the Government wilfully and
recklessly threw out on 2010."
This move, he added, has resulted in an
"exponential growth" in criminal gang activ-
ity, particularly in east Port-of-Spain.
Saying the country has been faced with
"gory news of decapitations gangland-style"
Al-Rawi said these killings have become the
centre stage of serious reports of international
"This government, with four ministers of
national security prior to Mr Griffith, has
yet to account for the consequences of its
actions and more particularily of its statement
of a realistic and clearly articulated crime
plan of T&T," Al-Rawi added.
He said Griffith had a "mountain" on his
plate and seemed to have little assistance
from the Government given recent statements
made by Attorney General Anand Ramlo-
Al-Rawi called upon Persad-Bissessar to
step forward and take charge of the country s
national security systems in a fashion that
"will demonstrate capability and inspire con-
fidence in the people."
Report not surprising---Griffith
The Council on Hemispheric Affairs
(COHA) is a Washington, DC-based non-
governmental organisation (NGO)
founded in 1975. It was established to
"promote the common interests of the
Western hemisphere, raise the visibility
of regional affairs and increase the
importance of the inter-American
relationship, as well as encourage the
formulation of rational and constructive
US policies towards Latin America." ---
WHAT IS COHA
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