Trinidad Extends State of Emergency for Three Months, Reduces Curfew Times

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Above: Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar (Photo: TGISL)

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Trinidad and Tobago has extended its State of Emergency for three months, the government announced today.

A motion to extend the State of Emergency, which was accompanied by a reduction in curfew times for specific areas of the country, was passed this afternoon in the House of Representatives.

“With the violent and heartless criminal element responsible for rivers of blood that flowed through our streets in the past 10 years, we lost our faith in the state’s ability to guarantee our rights,” Persad-Bissessar said in a speech to parliament today. “The State of Emergency is a restoring of the State’s ability to guarantee those rights and freedoms to its citizenry.”

The amended time for the curfew will apply in areas of Port of Spain, San Fernando, Arima, Chaguanas, Diego Martin and San Juan/Laventille.

Trinidad enacted the State of Emergency on Aug. 21, and has since arrested 1,143 people on various charges.

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar said the country’s war on crime would continue, and called on Trinidadians to “band together and join hands against the criminals.”

“This is a means to an end,” she said. “The means is the state of emergency and the end is restoration of our rights and freedoms.”