By Dana Malcolm
#TurksandCaicos, October 6, 2022 – For the first time since an explosion of violence began in the Turks and Caicos in the month of September citizens of the islands have been afforded the courtesy of being truly clued in to the reasons fueling the war they have been forced to endure.
“It is related to Jamaican gangs and serious transnational crime — it remains ongoing and it will not stop unless we stop it,” said Nigel Dakin, TCI Governor in his second ever address to the House of Assembly on Monday.
“It” as Dakin described is a complicated turf war fueled by a power vacuum, created all the way back in the first quarter of this year.
“Several months ago two local gangs lost their leadership. One extremely violent local gang leader was shot dead while resisting arrest, another Haitian gang leader who the police and tried on four different occasions to arrest in the shanty areas of Rumi Yard was killed by one of his own gang before he could be arrested.”
Dakin said the power vacuum that these two killings created allowed a predominantly Jamaican gang that previously had very little footprint in the TCI that had also been targeting the Haitian gang leader to step in. The days of shooting and violence in Five Cays in April were as a result of this new struggle for power.
That Jamaican gang has since expanded and with the backing of ‘military grade’ weapons they set out to eliminate those whom they believe are the local competition for drugs and arms snuggling. That presumed local competition is in turn fighting back, and according to Dakin the resulting war is responsible for the ‘vast majority’ of September’s wave of violence which has spilled over into October.
“Not everyone killed has been involved in criminality—But it is also true that many who have been murdered have been linked to criminality And a spiral of reprisal killings to avenge innocent as well as criminal victims has been the result.”
Dakin said that it pushed the police into a war he admits they were wholly unprepared for.
He said police presence after the initial double murders had forced the gang to take up residence in Duck Yard and when they tried to root them out police came under fire. The police have not managed to hold on to any of the criminals yet.
In response to consistent questions of why the police have not been able to arrest a single perpetrator of these events Dakin claimed some of them, knowing that they are targets have left the islands, some he said who were murderers have been murdered themselves and others have slipped away through illegal channels like fast boats.
He reiterated that the unwillingness of victims to speak to the police has hampered investigations as even though arrests have been made some people are refusing to give evidence.
He gave a ‘reality check’ as he described it to those criticizing the police saying that visiting UK officers had confirmed
“There is no county force in the UK many of them three times the size of our own that could start to tackle an armed and violent cross county let alone transnational threat off the scale we now face.”
Dakin maintained that the police force was holding up under extraordinary pressure and the people in the Islands “should be very proud of them”
He stressed that the island and government could either be divided or unified in this situation and urged Members of the House of Assembly, to be unified.
Vessels sink with 900 barrels of fuel in Trinidad
By Shanieka Smith
#Trinidad, December 2, 2022 – The Ministry of Energy and Energy Resources in Trinidad reported on Wednesday that a ship carrying 900 barrels of diesel fuel had sunk in the Gulf of Paria. The six crew members on board were rescued and received medical assessment.
The statement revealed that the barge owned by Trinity Liftboat Services Limited was trying to demobilise Trinity Heritage Petroleum Company’s North Field when it capsized.
After receiving an SOS from a vessel in their North Field, Heritage sent out a response team. An investigation into the incident has started, however, the main focus is to redeem the barge without making any oil spills.
The owners of the sunken vessel said “there are no injuries recorded. (The vessel) now sits on the seafloor no longer posing a risk to any of Heritage Petroleum’s platforms or installations.” They said the captain made a good decision to abandon the ship so that the crew members could be rescued and transported back to base.
Digital coin created for Caribbean’s Dominica as island partners with Huobi
By Shanieka Smith
December 2, 2022 – The Commonwealth of Dominica has partnered with cryptocurrency exchange Huobi, to issue its own national cryptocurrencies, Dominica Coin (DMC), and Digital Identity Documents (DID), already reports indicate a surge for the Huobi token.
This new collaboration with Dominica will bring the Caribbean one step closer to being a global cryptocurrency exchange centre. Huobi also announced its intention to move headquarters from Seychelles to the Caribbean.
It was explained, “The deal is noteworthy partly because of its connections to crypto billionaire Justin Sun, founder of the Tron blockchain where the Caribbean island’s new token will initially reside.”
Dominica Coin (DMC) and digital identity documents (DID) will be issued by Huobi Prime via the TRON network (a project dedicated to building the infrastructure for a truly decentralized Internet); both will serve as credentials for the future metaverse platform based in Dominica. DIDs can be used for cryptocurrency Know Your Customer verification, applying for loans, and opening bank accounts on the island.
The DMC is not yet ready for launch, but The HT token is up 15% over the last 24 hours to $7.12. It’s up 40% over the past seven days.
As one of the first Caribbean islands to adopt the citizenship-by-investment policy, the Dominican government is seeking to delve into the metaverse and Web3 technology as a means to boost the country’s development.
Imminent Worldwide Measles Threat; 25 Million CHILDREN miss First Dose
By Dana Malcolm
December 2, 2022 – Forty million children are at risk of Measles as what the World Health Organization is describing as an “imminent threat” takes shape. A joint report between the WHO and the U.S. Centres for Disease Control revealed that a record number of children missed their measles dose with 25 million children missing their first dose and 14.7 million children missing their second dose in 2021 alone.
Nine million cases of measles were recorded last year, twenty-two countries experienced large and disruptive outbreaks and 128,000 deaths occurred, the report says.
“The paradox of the pandemic is that while vaccines against COVID-19 were developed in record time and deployed in the largest vaccination campaign in history, routine immunization programmes were badly disrupted, and millions of kids missed out on life-saving vaccinations against deadly diseases like measles,” said Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General.
Measles is easily one of the most contagious viruses in the world and while many people think itchy spots when they think of the disease it can cause pneumonia, seizures and brain damage in about 30 percent of infected individuals.
Herd immunity will not work with this disease, say experts, unless 95 per cent of people or more are vaccinated; only 71 per cent of children in 2022 are fully vaccinated.
“Measles anywhere is a threat everywhere” the report said, emphasizing that no WHO region has achieved and sustained measles elimination.
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