“I just spoke to the Vice President of the Government of Venezuela. I conveyed our deepest sympathy to the family and wider Venezuelan community at this time of grief over the loss of life of the young child, at sea, during security operations involving TT Coast Guard and traffickers transporting illicit entrants,” said Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley.
He further added that, “She promised to fast track the presentation of credentials for Ambassador Major General (Ret’d) Edmund Dillon, Ambassador to the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. That will facilitate an early meeting between Senior TT Coast Guard officers and senior officers of the Guardia Nacionale, to bring about better and more effective collaboration against the illicit trades of trafficking in people, guns and drugs etc, which are detrimental to both our nations.”
Prime Minister expressed sadness, “I expressed my deepest sympathy on my own behalf and of all the people of Trinidad and Tobago with respect to the unfortunate loss of life of the baby during the security operations. We continue to appeal to our Venezuelan neighbours to not be encouraged to risk their lives and the life of others in illicit and dangerous border crossings.”
The Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard is trying to explain how its officers came to shoot on a Venezuelan migrant boat, which led to the death of an infant on board.
The mother of the child was also shot. After the vessel was intercepted, the mother was among the people captured. Before reaching a hospital, the nine-month-old infant boy succumbed to the injuries.
The coast guard said they fired on the migrant boat’s engines because it tried to ram their vessel, claiming they were afraid for their lives and acting in self-defense.
The TTS Scarborough, one of two Cape Class patrol vessels commissioned 2 months ago and deployed to protect the country’s maritime borders, was involved in the incident, which occurred soon before midnight Saturday in the waters off Trinidad’s south east coast.