Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 9th 2014 Contents A4
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, January 9, 2014
Relatives of Derryck
Pena yesterday described
him as a hardworking
man who lost his life
after he completed a hard
day s work.
Pena, alias "Casper" of
Malabar, was shot dead
on Tuesday night around
8 pm. Pena, a maxi-taxi
conductor, was standing
on the Arima to Port-of-
Spain maxi stand at the corner of St Joseph and
Green Street, when two men approached him.
Without warning the men opened fire on the 21-
year-old, hitting him several times. He died on the
scene. Then men then escaped on foot.
Police say they have no motive for the killing.
Speaking with members of the media outside
the Forensic Science Centre, St James, yesterday,
Pena s brother, who asked not to be named, said
his brother was an "honest working fella who came
from making an honest day s living" when he was
The sentiment was echoed by another male rel-
Pena s killing pushed the homicide toll to 20,
making the first week of 2014 one of the country s
deadliest. The murder toll, according to the head
of Homicide Bureau of Investigations, ACP Wayne
Dick, is 19 murders committed for the year and one
awaiting classification from the office of the Director
of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
The unclassified homicide is that of Shedrick
Toppin, who died after being stabbed in the chest
during a domestic squabble.
Police reports are that on January 4 around 1.30
am, Toppin, 38, who was originally from Tobago,
arrived at his Gail Trace, Palmiste, Chaguanas, home
after a night out drinking. He and a 28-year-old
pregnant woman are alleged to have fought and
during the fight he was stabbed once in the chest.
Despite the alarming murder rate,
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-
Bissessar says she does not believe
crime will prevent tourists from
patronising this year s Carnival cel-
Already 20 people have been mur-
dered in just eight days but Persad-
Bissessar is assuring citizens and
tourists that stringent crime-fighting
measures will be put in place to ensure
Carnival lovers are safe.
Speaking at the Animals Alive T&T
shelter in South Oropouche yesterday,
she said: "We will do all that we can
as a state to ensure the safety and
security of citizens as well as our vis-
itors for Carnival. We have had really
good Carnivals over the years. We
intend to put everything in place to
ensure safety and security at that time,
a very busy time of the year for us."
In recent months, the United States,
Canada, United Kingdom and Jamaica
have issued travel advisories on T&T
as a result of the crime rate. But Per-
sad-Bissessar said Carnival has always
been well attended despite high crime.
"I am of the view that those who
were not coming would not come in
any case...We have seen over the years
that the escalation in crime did not
deter visitors coming in," she said.
"I don t recall the number, but
many hundreds of thousands came
in last year. I don t expect it to deter
them---but it must be a cause for con-
cern. I want to give the assurance that
we will put all mechanisms in place
to ensure safety and security for vis-
itors and for citizens as we lead up
Despite the positive outlook on the
crime front, she admitted that
analysing forensic evidence, a key
crime-fighting method in First World
countries, was a challenge for police.
"Using the forensic is a challenge
for us at the moment...There has been
work in upgrading the Forensic Science
Centre, there is more work to be done,
and certainly we can improve with
respect to using DNA and other forms
of evidence in trials," the PM said.
This comes months after director
of the Police Complaints Authority
Gillian Lucky and former People s
National Movement senator Fitzgerald
Hinds called for the return of Sautt,
which had specialised methods of
crime detection. The Government
disbanded the unit, charging that it
Responding to the call by Minister
of National Diversity Rodger Samuel
for the resumption of capital punish-
ment, she said that issue will be dis-
cussed with Attorney General Anand
Ramlogan and the PNM.
"That matter was brought to Par-
liament, and as you know the Oppo-
sition refused to give their support to
the bill to allow for expeditious hang-
ings...It depends on the parliamentary
support on whether that will see the
light of day again," Persad-Bissessar
"The Attorney General has been
meeting with a team from the Oppo-
sition. I expect that to be one of the
items to be discussed, along with other
pieces of proposed legislation."
PM promises safe Carnival
Prime Minister Kalma Persad-Bissessar shows some
love for a puppy up for adoption at the Animals Alive
T&T compound at Ralph Marine Trace, South Oropouche.
PHOTO: TONY HOWELL
People s National Movement (PNM) La
Brea MP Fitzgerald Jeffrey yesterday
described as a "gross disrespect" the $20
million fine imposed on Petrotrin by the
Environmental Management Agency
(EMA) for the 11 oil spills along the south-
Petrotrin s president Khalid Hassanali
described the fine as harsh, but Jeffrey said
it was inadequate.
Jeffrey said the fine, when one includes
compensation to the residents and the extent
of clean-up and restoration work, should
have been $60 million.
In a telephone interview yesterday, Jeffrey
said, "As far as I am concerned it is a gross
disrespect to the people of the southwestern
peninsula. They will be taking the $20 mil-
lion to clean up the beach and do rehabil-
itation work. They are not catering for com-
pensation for the residents, which I think
is more critical. These are people who live
near the margin, poverty, poverty, pover-
ty."Residents depend on fishing as their liveli-
hood, he said, and it had been disrupted
through no fault of theirs since the oil spill
spread to their community on December
"And I can tell you, $20 million is inad-
equate to do what they say they going to
do, because the mangrove from Aripero to
Rousillac --- if you see the amount of oil
spilled there. God knows how the mangrove
will survive, because they breathe through
their roots. Those things are now covered
in oil. So that is still a big problem."
Describing $20 million as a slap on the
wrist, Jeffrey added, "I would say about
$60 million will really do justice, because
I know the extent of damage that has been
done to the eco-system."
However, La Brea councillor Gerald
Debisette had no issue with the $20 million
fine. Speaking with reporters during a tour
by National Diversity and Social Integration
Minister Rodger Samuel at Station Beach
in La Brea yesterday, Debisette said, "I think
it is satisfactory."
Asked if he felt the fine should have been
higher, he said, "I cannot determine that,
I don t know how EMA fines go."
Although most of the heavy work has
been done on the beach, Debisette said
clean-up ought to continue, since there is
still work to be done.
Pledging his ministry s support, Samuel
said his purpose there was to visit the natural
heritage sites, including the beaches and
mangroves, affected by the oil spills under
the guidance of Petrotrin.
Samuel, who visited about five sites, said
his ministry will be working with commu-
nity groups to help in the restoration of the
sites. He offered no comment on the EMA
Meanwhile, president general of the
OWTU, Ancel Roget, yesterday claimed that
even as the clean-up work on the ongoing
oil spill was ongoing, another leak developed
at Petrotrin s Pointe-a-Pierre operations,
this time on a gas line on Tuesday.
Roget claimed that at 5.30 pm on Tuesday,
a leak developed on a four-inch line at the
No 3 pump house at Pointe-a-Pierre. He
said the line was isolated but when workers
attempted to clamp it they were unsuc-
cessful because it was too corroded.
He said this was due to a lack of proper
maintenance regimes being implemented
by the management, something which they
have been raising time and time again.
La Brea MP on EMA oil spill fine
CSI officers search for clues into the murder of
twenty one year old Deryck Pena of Malabar
who was shot dead by three armed men at the
corner of Green and St Joseph Streets in Arima
on Tuesday night. PHOTO:ABRAHAM DIAZ
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