Caribbean RoundUp

Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry.
Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry.


The Bahamas government has confirmed that the country main electricity company will be increasing its monthly fuel charge in response to rising fuel costs with the rate increase set to reflect on consumer’s electricity bills beginning November.
But Prime Minister Phillip Davis said the increase will only temporary and are expected to come down over the next 12 to 18 months.
In February, Power and Light (BPL) has announced plans to increase customers fuel charge, but the company later recalled the statement with government prescribing the announcement as premature and ultimately denying the company approval for the increase.
Davis addressing the government’s decision to delay the increase of electricity bills, said it was because of the economic hardship being experienced by Bahamians after the effect of COVID-19 and, most recently, the inflammatory cost of living.
Chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Council for National Security and Law Enforcement (CONSLE),  Dr. Horace Chang, said the United States has given a commitment to the region it will work towards stemming the flow of illegal firearms into the Caribbean.
“US offered to extend itself to work with those Caribbean countries. More critical, a lot of the guns are manufactured and shipped to the region very easily.
“We need their co-operation and support to deal wit it, and they came forward to that the various agencies that they have this kind of activity.”
He said it has the potential to cripple the already fragile socio-economic development progress in CARICOMand the advancement of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) that allows for the free movement of goods, skills, labor and services across the 15-member regional integration grouping.
Chang said none of our countries manufacture firearms and yet the ill-effects of their proliferation and the contribution to gang violence and the transnational permeates our respective territories responsible for more than 70 percent of homicides in CARICOM.
The Dominica government says it is moving towards tightening legislation regarding the use of illegal weapons including a mandatory lengthy jail  sentence for convicted people.
National Security Minister Minister Rayburn Blackmore said the Firearms and Bail Act will be reviewed to impose stiffer penalties on people convicted on charges of trafficking in illegal firearms.
“We have strong gun  laws in our country. However, laws are very organic and are meant to be changed with time. In that regard, in very quick order, further changes will be made to our firearms act,” Blackmore said.
The National Security Minister said that the government condemned the trafficking in illegal firearms, nothing “we do not manufacture firearms and for those illegal guns from the other side.”
Caricom education ministers met last week to discuss the progress on the implementation of the CARICOM Human Resource Development 2030 Strategy and key transformative the interactive for education quality and equality in the region.
The 44th meeting of the Council for Human and Social Development (COHSOD) and Education on for Oct. 13 and 14 will be the first face-to-face meeting in two years.
The Guyana-based CARICOM Secretariat said that ahead of the Ministers meeting the Regional Coordinating Mechanism for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (RCMTVET) and education officials met late last month to fine tune the agenda.
During that meeting , the director for human development at the CARICOM Secretariat Helen Royer, expressed satisfaction that the education system has returned face -to- face teaching modality.
The Senate has approved a resolution urging Prime Minister Dr. Ariel Henry to postpone his request calling for international partners to immediately deploy specialized armed force, sufficient quality to stop the  crisis across the country caused partly by the criminals action by armed gangs.
In the resolution, adopted recently, the Assembly of Senators says “request the de factor Prime Minister Ariel Henry to immediately suspend the execution of the resolution of October 7, 2022.”
The Council of Ministers had on Oct. 7, authorized Prime Minister Henry to “request and obtain from Haiti’s international partners effective support to the immediately deployment of a specialized armed force, in sufficient quality to stop, throughout the territory the humanitarian crisis caused, among other things, by the insecurity resulting from the  criminal action by armed gangs and their sponsors.”
Last week the United Nations Secretary General, António Guterres urged the international community, including the UN Security Council, to consider “as a matter of urgency” the request by the Haitian government for the immediate deployment of an international specialized armed force in the French speaking Caribbean country.
Guterres said that the force would address the humanitarian crisis, including securing the free movement of water, fuel, food and medical supply from main ports to communities and health care facilities.
The  number of people murdered in Jamaica for the first nine months of this year stands at 1,171 according to the figures released by the Jamaica Constabulary Force.
The number of murders up to the start of this month is 85 more than the corresponding period and the St. James Police Division, north west of Kingston has had to investigate 160 cases, compared to the 116 homicides reported for the same period last year.
Increases were recorded in all parishes but there was a decrease in the number of shooting incidents with the data showing there were 897 cases of shootings over the period of review, compared to 951 for the same period last year.
The United Kingdom announced last week that it has deployed a ship and specialized police to the Turks and Caicos Islands to fight a spike in violence.
Two dozen specialists who were stationed in the Bahamas  arrived last week on the archipelago, while a Royal Fleet Auxiliary tanker with a helicopter is enroute and will be used as a platform for operations, said the UK’S Foreign Commonwealth  and Development Office.
The archipelago of some 58,000 people has reported 15 fatal shootings since early September.
Among the victims was Ken Carter, an NACCP leader from Virginia who was killed on Oct. 2 while on vacation.
“The UK has a moral and constitutional responsibility to support and protect the people of the overseas territories, who are a value part the UK family,” said the UK Foreign Secretary, James Cleverly.