Rowley to Opposition: “If you want to fight illegal immigration, let’s start by fighting prostitution in TT”


The recent deportation of 35 Venezuelans from Trinidad is questioned by TT Opposition who claim there is government cover after the Coast Guard shootout that occurred with the same people last week.

The opposition United National Congress (UNC) is questioning the perceived silence surrounding the shooting death of one-year-old Venezuelan boy Ya Elvis Santoyo.

The incident in question occurred on Saturday, February 5, when the Coast Guard intercepted a boat containing 39 people, including children, suspected of being illegal migrants from Venezuela.

The Coast Guard later claimed that its officers fired on the boat’s engines in order to stall the vessel and prevent it from ramming the officers’ vessel. Baby Santoyo was shot while in his mother’s arms and an autopsy later showed he died from a single bullet to the head. His mother Darielvis Sarabia, who was also injured and is hospitalized at Sangre Grande Hospital.

Prime Minister Rowley has responded to claims asking the opposition to ‘cease and desist’ from their attacks on the TTCG over the tragic shooting. He also said:

“If you want to fight this (illegal immigration), let’s start by fighting this (prostitution in TT).”

Rowley was referring to a recent Insight Crime investigation that explores the inner workings of human trafficking rings between Trinidad and Venezuela, revealing how critical routes are used to fuel Trinidad and Venezuela’s lucrative illicit sex trade. Tobago.

The opposition’s questioning of the treatment of migrants prompted Rowley to remind them – “He says, with regard to the very people he (Charles) claims to want to defend, ‘Some stay in the south while others others head to the north and central region, many to the borough of Chaguanas where the demand for prostitutes is thriving.

According to the report, Trinidad is being used as a transit hub as Venezuelan nationals are trafficked through Europe and North Africa. The beaches of Icacos, Cedros, Erin, Moruga and Chaguaramas are generally used as entry points.

The report documents human trafficking between the two countries and shows that it consists of three stages: recruitment, transport and exploitation. Critical hubs in both countries are used to facilitate every step of the process.

The Department of National Security’s Counter-Trafficking Unit (CTU) continues its work to combat human trafficking in Trinidad and Tobago.

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