Trinidad extends state of emergency by 3 months
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Last Updated: Tuesday, September 06, 2011, 13:03
Port-Of-Spain: Authorities in Trinidad and Tobago have extended a state of emergency by three months, citing continued security concerns since the measure was first imposed last month to dismantle gangs and decrease crime.

During a rare Sunday sitting of Parliament to debate the extension, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar said the state of emergency has prevented "a criminal uprising of untold proportions" in the southern Caribbean country off Venezuela's coast.

The government first issued a state of emergency last month following a spike in violent crime that saw 11 murders in 48 hours. The measure involves an 11 pm to 4 am curfew and gives security forces enhanced powers to search suspects and seize property without a warrant. Police and soldiers are patrolling crime hotspots in the two-island nation of 1.2 million people.

"The state of emergency has worked," Persad-Bissessar told the House of Representatives, who extended the measure until December because they agreed the crime crackdown was still incomplete. "Rest assured the crisis has been averted."

Speaking to The Associated Press yesterday, Foreign Affairs and Communications Minister Suruj Rambachan said the government is prepared for any "backlash" as a result of the extension.

"We are ready for any backlash that the criminal element may wish to engage in. We are aware that the criminal element will not be pleased by the state of emergency but the defence force and the police are ready to deal with them," Rambachan said.


First Published: Tuesday, September 06, 2011, 13:03

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