#Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands – October 13, 2019 — In Turks and Caicos there is undoubtedly a violent crime crisis. While the idea of a drug-fuelled resistance to law and order was rejected as the reason for the surge in gun related and retaliatory crime which has given the country its highest murder count, ever… everyone agrees the behavior of the offenders is unexpected, unnecessary and frighteningly unpredictable.
Street savvy observers tell Magnetic Media that bad minded men in the Turks and Caicos Islands are being further radicalized by two illegal drugs: Molly and Flakka.
“That type of drug with gun in your hand; with these fellas anything is possible that is why there is no regard for the pastor, there is no regard for nobody right now because they are not really themselves. It’s a mind transformer in the negative direction.”
Molly or Ecstasy was outlawed in the 1980’s and is a psychoactive drug which in its pure form is supposed to make one more empathetic.
The drug pills our young men and women are popping today are not pure; they are dangerous synthetic imposters responsible for corrupting emotional stability. Pill sales are booming everywhere as a part of a multi-billion-dollar global industry.
“If you would notice from some of the court lists there’s a lot of people who have been getting arrested for drugs coming through couriers. You see a lot of charges for illegal importation, wrongful importation, no declaration and those customs charges… that’s what they are, pills! American contaminated drugs taking them into a different level.”
When it comes to Flakka, it too is synthetic or man-made. In a CNN news item from 2015, it was said, flakka gives users “what feels like the strength and fury of the Incredible Hulk.”
Magnetic Media asked the question of our source: “Is the surge in violent crime and vicious attacks organized?”
The answer given was “no” and the reason for the negative response could likely be more disconcerting.
“What I am gathering is that for the past two or three years, there has been a continuous influx of pills, Molly, Flakka and that kind of stuff coming in from America.”
Drug dealers are also coming from Haiti said our source; it is big business and easy money.
Meanwhile, Molly and Flakka pills are giving users a dark sense of invincibility and an overcharged proclivity toward violence.
Definitive research on the link between Molly, Flakka and violence is hard to come by but there was an interesting article published by the Huffington Post in 2011.
The article, which centered on the question of pill drugs being linked to an uptick in violent crime in Oakland, California featured a poem written by an inmate. A few of the stanzas gave a grim view as the writer warned not to take the pills:
A pill is mixed with every drug except for weed
The reason it keeps you up all night is cause of the speed
Whatever mood you in, the pill gives you more of that feeling
So if you mad and violent then you might go start killin’By De Angelo published on HuffPost.com, 2011
The news article highlights the writings of those who have experienced, in some way the emotionally stimulating cocktail of drugs which give users greater courage for all of the wrong things.
“…and they write often taking the pills to ‘get up the heart’ for committing robberies, car-jackings, and worse – revenge killings.”
Sheerly Avni, the contributing writer of HuffPost.com said: “they already think no one cares about what they do. Now they have found a drug that keeps them from caring as well.”
Our source unwittingly corroborates these established news organisations and other professional commentaries: “Weed is a calmer, cocaine was here for a while but crackheads on coke you would see them on the streets and stuff but this new drug, new in our territory cause it recently started to creep up on us, is kicking in and giving these fellas a different rush, a different high, a different speed and what happens is they think they are on top of the world and that type of drug with gun in your hand, anything is possible.”
The Turks and Caicos Islands Government must now catch up and work to educate in order to eradicate this hidden demon which is possessing and persuading younger men to make aggressive or homicidal decisions.
“So, we have a two-fold problem that I don’t think the government is really educated on how to deal with it. It’s a drug, those pills they are the issue and they are clouding and damaging our young men and sending them into this rush to steal, rush to hold up…”
In the past 72-hours there have been reports of at least 10 incidents to Magnetic Media including armed robberies, aggravated assault, home invasion, a drug-induced frenzy and a fatal shooting.
CARICOM Sec Gen speaks on Gender Based Violence
“Everyone must continue to invest in preventing violence against our women and girls (VAWG). It is an investment in our shared future,” were the words of Dr. Carla N. Barnett, CARICOM Secretary-General, as she reiterated the need for solutions against VAWG.
She called attention to VAWG as she gave a speech surrounding the annual campaign “16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence,” which runs from November 25 to December 10, 2023.
Barnett expresses the well-known fact that VAWG is one of the most prevalent issues affecting all corners of society.
“VAWG remains one of the most pervasive forms of human rights violations in the world and cuts across all races, cultures, genders, and educational backgrounds,” she maintained, as she continued to point out the sad reality that this is still a major issue despite regional and global policies.
“Despite the existence of regional and global policies and legislation to combat VAWG, weak enforcement and discriminatory practices remain significant barriers to ending VAWG.”
The Secretary-General highlighted statistics for VAWG, bringing attention to how serious and embedded this issue is in society.
She said that globally, 736 million women—nearly one in three—have experienced violence—physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence, non-partner sexual violence, or even both.
For the Caribbean region, she said surveys conducted between 2016 and 2019 inform us that one in two women experience intimate partner violence, which is higher than the global average.
In continuation, Barnett expressed that the campaign calls everyone to action against VAWG, including “development partners, civil society organizations, women’s organizations, youth, the private sector, and the media.” Also, world governments are being asked to share how they are investing in gender-based violence prevention.
Ending her address, the Secretary-General urged everyone to wear the color orange for the duration of the campaign, as well as on the 25th of each month, “as a symbol of hope for a brighter future where women and girls live free from violence.”
Sea Patrol Vessels Approved by Cabinet, October 11 Meeting
#TurksandCaicos, November 25, 2023 – Her Excellency the Governor, Dileeni Daniel-Selvaratnam, chaired the 26th meeting of Cabinet on Wednesday, 11 October 2023 at the Governor’s Office, Providenciales.
All Members were present except the Hon. Josephine Connolly.
- Approved the Consultation Report on the Proposed Amendments to the Turks and Caicos Islands Immigration Ordinance with amendments and agreed for the amended document to be brought back to Cabinet for final approval for onward submission to the House of Assembly.
- Approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Turks and Caicos Islands Government (TCIG) and Geta Crew Holding Ltd. for a mixed use development project on the island of Grand Turk, with the view of entering into a Development Agreement as per the Encouragement of Development Ordinance and the National Investment Policy.
- Approved the renewal of rental lease agreement, for various Government offices, between TCIG and Waterloo Property Management, Grand Turk.
- Approved the awarding of the following contracts:
- PN 005694, TR 23/13, Furniture and Equipment for NJS Francis Building; and
- PN 005696, TR 22/10, Purchase of Patrol Vessels.
- It noted the update from Her Excellency the Governor regarding the upcoming visit of UK Ministers to the Turks and Caicos Islands.
Grand Turk Tourism Career & Entrepreneur Fair, Showcasing Jobs in the Industry
#TurksandCaicos, November 25, 2023 – The theme for Tourism Environmental Awareness Month is “Investing in Today for Tomorrow”. Students of the HJ Robinson High School in Grand Turk were given an opportunity on Tuesday, November 14th to learn about job opportunities in the tourism industry.
The students were part of the Tourism Career and Entrepreneurial Fair held at the Yellowman and Sons Auditorium. The career fair was the first of three that Experience Turks and Caicos is staging as part of Tourism Environmental Awareness Month. The other two will be held in South Caicos on November 21st and Providenciales on November 30th.
In her address, Minister of Tourism, the Honourable Josephine Connolly stressed that tourism is the biggest employer in the Turks and Caicos Islands and everything is related to the tourism industry.
“Over the past decade, we have enjoyed immense popularity. We have direct flights from the US every day, we have over 25 flights from the US into the Turks and Caicos Islands on a Saturday and sometimes on a Sunday. We have two direct flights from Europe, Virgin which started last Wednesday and we have British Airways twice a week. There are flights from Canada connecting us and we have flights connecting us in the Caribbean. We have Caicos Express and InterCaribbean,” she said.
“We have to prepare ourselves because we want our tourists to have the best experience from the time they arrive until the time they leave. The industry is changing, the skills are changing and it all matches what the travel and tourism industry needs.”
“Tourism accounts for a large percentage of the workforce and there are many other jobs and businesses that support the tourism industry like cleaning services, landscaping, banking, groceries, shipping companies, utility companies, lawyers and so many more. Although these organisations are not directly into tourism, tourism accounts for a significant portion of their business,” she said.
“Investing in Today for Tomorrow is not solely for economic growth but it is about investing in our environment, communities and most importantly investing in yourselves. Seek membership, acquire knowledge and never underestimate the power of perseverance.”
Also giving remarks was the Honourable Shaun Malcolm, Minister of Health and Human Services, who urged the students to take in everything they can learn.
“This is a great initiative. I had the privilege of working in the hotel industry, in the tourism industry for over 19 years so this is something that is very close and dear to my heart. The Minister of Tourism is working tirelessly every day to ensure that not only do we remain the envy of the Caribbean but that we bring our people along and I want you to know that we spent hours under her leadership as a Government working on improving every island and you will see in the not too distant future, many good things, big things coming to fruition. As the Minister said, Tourism is our business, it is our bread and basket and we don’t take that lightly,” he said.
In his remarks, Jamel Robinson, the Honourable Minister of Physical Planning and Infrastructure pointed out the careers that people would not normally associate with tourism.
“You have your firemen, you have your Airports Authority, you have Invest TCI, the police and many others, because we all work together to make that 85 percent of our GDP work for all of us,” he said, noting that his Ministry provides the support infrastructure to help the tourism industry in the Turks and Caicos to be the best in the world.
‘It signifies the importance of strategic value of decision making, recognizing the choices you make today directly impacts the future we are building for the generation to come. In the Turks and Caicos, a nation of pristine beaches, rich culture and warm hospitality, investing in today for tomorrow is not only sustaining our tourism industry but also ensuring its responsible growth. It involves equipping our future generation with the skill and knowledge to be stewards of our natural resources and ambassadors of our unique heritage,” he said.
The Tourism Career and Entrepreneurship Fair saw participation from a number of agencies and vendors. We would like to recognise and thank the following for their support: the TCI Community College, Beaches Resort, the Turks and Caicos Airport Authority, the Human Resource Management Directorate, the Royal Turks and Caicos Police Force, the Turks and Caicos Fire Services, the Department of Environmental Coastal Resources (DECR), Department of Maritime and Fisheries, Funtastic Tours, Splash Tours, Invest TCI, Blue Water Divers, Aunty Nanns, Tasty Treats and the Department of Tourism Regulations (DTR).
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