By Dana Malcolm
#TurksandCaicos, June 15, 2022 – In the period of seven days four young men below the age of 25 have been charged with firearm offenses, including wounding. The Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force released the information on Tuesday, June 7th, regarding several incidents involving separate persons.
Twenty-four-year-old Lavardo Campbell is the oldest of the bunch, and was charged alongside 21-year-old Jean-Max Germain on June 3rd for carrying a firearm, carrying ammunition, wounding, discharging a firearm, and discharging ammunition after they discharged several rounds from their moving vehicle injuring a passerby on May 17th.
Patrick Frantz Gedeus was charged with keeping a firearm and ammunition on June 6th after suspicious activity surrounding his SUV was noticed by the police a day earlier. The officers towed the SUV and searched it in his presence, finding a black pistol, loaded with a magazine containing two 9mm rounds.
The youngest of the group of men charged, Alex Aquino is 19 years old and was also charged on June 3rd for discharging a firearm and carrying ammunition after he was identified as the shooter in an incident where a man was threatened, and rounds were discharged in the Five Cays area.
The minimum sentence for gun possession in the Turks and Caicos remains 5 years imprisonment. The consistent arrests of college-age young men in the Turks and Caicos underscores the importance of accessible tertiary education for students as well as programs in lockup to prevent recidivism.
The TCIG has implemented several programs for intervention and education after lockup but preventative programs including teen mentorship and educational opportunities may help to stem the number of young men and women heading to lockup in the first place.
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.”
Police Reveal Identities on Double Homicide Victims
#TurksandCaicos, November 25, 2023 – Shot male victims identified The two male victims shot dead on Friday, 17th November 2023, have been identified as 26- year-old Jean Mryola and 45-year-old Salomon Innocent Nevilia of Five Cays, Providenciales.
Based on preliminary information, a call was placed to the Police Control Room around 6:31 a.m., reporting the discovery of two bodies on a track located off Five Cays Road in the Five Cays community.
The Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force Serious Crime Unit officers are continuing investigations into this senseless crime.
The public is being asked to contact 911, the closest police station, the RTCIPF Serious Crime Unit at 232-8752, or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-8477 and give any information on this murder or any other illegal activity anonymously.
Maternity care and orphanages in Haiti shutting down with another Bloody Day on November 13
Haiti, November 24, 2023 – Some Haitian women, mothers specifically and soon to be mothers are left somewhat if not entirely without access to the special care they need, as maternity care is being severely impacted by the growing lack of safety from gang activity.
On November 15th, 2023, discord which led to clashes, resulted in the unwilling, indefinite closure of the Fontaine hospital, a private facility that provides important maternity care service to women.
This was not the first instance unfortunately as a few weeks prior, in late October, another maternity center called Saint Damiens had to halt treatment as well; closing its doors because of insecurity.
Some medical centers are still operating in other parts of Haiti as the staff of the shut facilities were transferred; they are relocated to Port-au- Prince, according to a November 20th report by OCHA, for Latin America and the Caribbean, which was giving its weekly update on the crisis in Haiti
This comes following a disturbing resurgence in violence on November 13; it saw rival armed groups in a deadly clash causing displacement and injuries in areas like Citè Soleil, “a commune in the capital, Port au Prince,” the report informed.
The record reflects that 1000 people were forced out of their home and 166 were killed.
Now, with so many displaced, this not only decreases the people in the area as some would naturally flee, but also the number of nurses being relocated and for good reason. What this does is reduce the access to medical care in the affected areas, Cité Soleil.
With other medical institutions closing by force, the number of facilities is clearly reducing.
In fact, in Cité Soleil, there is only one medical center left open.
Among the recent evacuees, 58 children, said the report.
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