By Deandrea Hamilton
#TurksandCaicos, April 15, 2022 – Just 22-years old and from all accounts, Randell Rigby Jr was a marked young man and now, he is deceased; shot early Monday morning in a confrontation with the Royal TCI Police, dying last night of that gunshot wound.
Unnamed in a statement, Police Commissioner Trevor Botting informed the man shot had been in serious condition after one of his officers fired on the suspect.
“‘This incident highlights again the dangerous and challenging role that members of the RTCIPF undertake every day in protection of the communities of the Turks and Caicos Islands. Fortunately, our Police Officer received relatively minor injuries and we wish him a speedy recovery. As is normal when a firearm is discharged by Police, the circumstances of the operation and the discharged will be reviewed and whilst this process has already started, I will be seeking independent support and oversight for the review and I will update further when this is confirmed,” said Commissioner Botting in a statement issued on Monday April 11, 2022.
When we look back at Rigby’s life in 2022 alone, we see a deeply concerning series of events; he was being hunted, it appeared ever since his release from prison earlier this year. Several times, Rigby, aka Trippy was fired at; said to be in a beef which had been raging for years.
With his face recently plastered on Police Wanted poster, the young man’s name was linked to many shocking incidents from the theft of a police woman’s private vehicle in February in a crime said to be aimed at him, to the armed robbery spree in March which left wanted man Gari ‘Santi’ Charles shot dead in Blue Hills, to days of haunting gunfire in Five Cays, which began on April 6, in the middle of the day.
All of these with Rigby’s name attached, now, he is gone. It is said a firearm was seized at the address on Venetian Road and while this death is not considered a murder; it is still a life lost to violence & crime.
Police shared this on the raid: “At around 4:30am on Monday 11 April 2022, a planned policing operation to arrest a suspect for serious offences of violence and firearms related crime was carried out at an address on Venetian Road, Providenciales. During this operation, a single round from a Police Firearm was discharged which resulted in serious injuries to a suspect.
The suspect is in hospital being treated and is under Police Guard. A Police Officer was also injured and is also receiving treatment in Hospital. A non-police issue firearm was recovered from the scene.”
Again, Rigby hours later died from the shot, reportedly to the stomach.
“The Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force has confirmed that the suspect who was shot during the Policing operation in the early hours of today, Monday 11th April 2022, has died in hospital at about 8:15pm tonight.
The circumstances of the discharge by the Police officer during the police operation remains under review as is normal in such circumstances and no further comment will be made at this stage.
The country continues to await plans, which can run interference on the criminal lifestyle so many young men, in particular, are choosing and there are now demands being made for intervention.
Randell Rigby Jr, though tagged in many crimes and whose face appeared on a WANTED poster just days before his death, reportedly lost his father at a young age; his mother – a Haitian – was deported therefore they were estranged and is the father of a young daughter.
Residents say the social system failed Randell Rigby.
US Milestone Celebrated
#Jamaica, June 30, 2022 – This year marks the United States of America’s (USA) 246th anniversary of Independence, and the milestone was celebrated with a reception on June 28 at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston. The event also featured the traditional United States Marine Corps Colour Guard ceremony.
“The Government of Jamaica is pleased to join in commemorating this milestone with our American friends and partners. Today we celebrate a nation that continues to give practical meaning to the declaration of Independence and the vision of the founding fathers for the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. These tenets have been central to the growth and development of the Union since 1776 and its transformation as a global leader,” he said.
For his part, US Ambassador to Jamaica, His Excellency Nick Perry, said the countries’ partnership has been rewarding, and expressed the United States’ continued commitment to strengthening the cooperation between the nations.
“On behalf of the United States Mission to Jamaica, thank you for joining us as we celebrate the 246th anniversary of the Independence of the United States of America. As we celebrate America’s independence, we also celebrate 60 years of partnership between our two countries. Together we have promoted democracy, human rights, and shared security concerns,” he said.
Jamaica established diplomatic relations with the United States in 1962, following its independence from the United Kingdom.
The partnership focuses on reducing corruption; increasing transparency and good governance; fostering Jamaican participation in regional security efforts; strengthening basic education; and increasing energy resiliency.
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the US has provided more than US$16.4 million as well as donations of vaccines to assist Jamaica’s containment measures.
Additionally, over the last 12 months, the United States has collaborated with the Ministry of Labour and Social Security to issue a record number of H2 visas, bringing critical, temporary labour to the US, while providing jobs for thousands of Jamaicans that resulted in millions of dollars in remittances.
Significantly, the Peace Corps, which is also celebrating 60 years of partnership with Jamaica this year, will resume its operations on the island beginning September, following a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic.
Contact: Rochelle Williams
Positive Outlook for Caribbean Tourism
June, 30, 2022 – The president of the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association (CHTA), Nicola Madden-Greig, says tourism in the Caribbean is recovering faster than expected.
While presenting at the CHTA ‘Caribbean Tourism Fireworks’, she said the Caribbean travel and tourism sector experienced the second-fastest recovery of all regions in 2021. Travel and Tourism have contributed to the gross domestic product (GDP) by 36.6 per cent. She added that they have recovered over 311,000 jobs.
“That is really a testament to how fast Caribbean tourism has been able to come back into play,” said Madden-Greig.
January and February were not as successful because of the uprising of the COVID-19 omicron variant. Travel heightened between March and June, and Madden-Greig reported that summer looks promising and that they “expect that winter 2022-2023 will also be strong”.
“For the June to August period, [the Caribbean is] ahead of our 2019 airline arrivals in terms of what is forecast and on the books by upwards of two per cent,” she said.
The CHTA’s Caribbean Tourism Fireworks is what the trade association uses to communicate regional tourism performance and outlook survey results. In addition to the performance reports, other topics were discussed including the recognition of Caribbean tourism’s resilience; that investments by the tourism industry in capital improvements, health safety and product value are underpinning the region’s tourism recovery; and that labour shortages present immediate and long-term opportunities.
CHTA urged employers, governments, education and training institutions to recruit new employees and prepare communities for careers, employment and ownership opportunities within the sector.
Also present at the CHTA Caribbean Tourism Firework were CHTA’s acting CEO and Director General, Vanessa Ledesma, Jamaican hotelier Clifton Reader, and the chair of CHTA’s Advocacy Committee.
While the speakers agreed that intra-Caribbean travel has great opportunities, they share that there are connectivity issues and issues with preserving, protecting and enhancing the region’s natural resources.
Sandals Resorts International Appoints Rachel McLarty as Corporate Director of Communications & Public Relations
Communications Executive Rejoins Brand After Tenure at Distinguished Jamaican Law Firm
MONTEGO BAY, JAMAICA, June 15, 2022 – Sandals Resorts International recently announced the appointment of Rachel McLarty to Corporate Director of Communications & Public Relations, overseeing the company’s corporate communication efforts and public relations initiatives for the Sandals Resorts and Beaches Resorts brands throughout the Caribbean. Reporting to Executive Chairman Adam Stewart and CEO Gebhard Rainer, McLarty returns to the organization after a ten-year hiatus where she previously held the position of Group Director of Corporate Relations.
“We are in a moment of tremendous momentum and require a skilled, expert hand to navigate through what will be an upcoming decade of unprecedented growth for the organization,” said Adam Stewart, Executive Chairman of SRI. “Rachel McLarty is that voice in the Caribbean, and we are thrilled to welcome her back to the company as we celebrate our 40th anniversary and plan for the next forty.”
McLarty, who will be based in the Kingston headquarters of Sandals Resorts International, will lead a talented team of public relations and communication professionals in Jamaica and throughout the entire Caribbean region. During her first tenure with SRI, McLarty served as Group Director of Corporate Relations for the organization for a period of five years, beginning in 2006. Prior to rejoining the company, she served as an attorney-at-law at Myers, Fletcher & Gordon, one of the largest law firms in Jamaica. She is deeply committed to improving and developing Caribbean communities, currently sitting as Chairman of the Board for St. Andrew High School for Girls and the SOS Children’s Villages in Jamaica.
“Sandals Resorts International remains the brand standard for Caribbean organizations, and it is an honour to rejoin the company at such a prolific time,” said McLarty. “And while I have certainly followed the tremendous success of the brands in the last decade, I have remained even more impressed by the organization’s continued commitment to the Caribbean, the region we all call home. I look forward to the incredible work to be done.”
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