Trinidad extends state of emergency by 3 months

Last Updated: Tuesday, September 6, 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

"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


First Published: Tuesday, September 6, 2011 - 13:03

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