Saturday Express Editorial

IN yet another incident which has had the effect of piling ­embarrassment upon embarrassment for the authorities, a convict walked out of the Golden Grove facility in Arouca on Thursday, and was on the run up to last night.

He had been serving time for malicious damage and is scheduled to be released next April on a 24-month conviction. The man simply walked away from a gang in which he had been placed doing work on the outside in an agricultural ­project operated by the prison.

The gang had begun work around 7.30 a.m. and officers, at some point during the morning, realised this inmate had ­escaped their notice and made a run for it. This latest incident follows on the still-puzzling incident just three months ago, in which eight men on remand walked out of the same Golden Grove prison. All eight were recaptured, with the last two of them being found at a house in the South Oropouche district several weeks later.

Prisons Commissioner Gerald Wilson has, once again, pro­mised a report into this latest incident, but the country awaits satisfactory reporting from the deadly prison break staged by three inmates at the Port of Spain prison in July 2015. A police officer was killed in that incident, and officers were suspended from duty. To date, however, this matter remains outstanding, with continuing claims and counter-claims as to what went wrong, and who ultimately should be held responsible. At least one of the suspended officers has recently appeared on TV6’s Morning Edition, calling on the authorities to clear his name.

In the wake of the Thursday-morning walk-away by this ­single inmate, Commissioner Wilson has said a report on the May escapes has been completed. He is yet, however, to ­explain what has happened concerning the July 2015 prison break, which remains as a stain on the competence and the professionalism of the officers whose job it is to maintain safe and secure penal facilities.

Commissioner Wilson talks blithely about “recommendations” which are to be put in place concerning the report from the escape of the eight men in May. He should, however, say whether and to what extent what is contained in that report bears any connection to the security procedures which were spectacularly breached in 2015 in Port of Spain.

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The commissioner has a responsibility, having now occupied this seat after taking over from his predecessors in this office, to provide assurances to the population that measures are in place to stem the relative ease with which inmates find the means to spring free from detention, among other ­misdemeanours.

Officers have claimed to have been victimised by what has transpired, and what is still at issue concerning the 2015 incident. This matter needs to be addressed with greater urgency than that with which the country has been fed to date.

Thursday’s incident points clearly to the gaping hole in the security system for persons being held at the State’s ­pleasure, despite repeated escapes—a shameful reflection on those whose job it is to hold and treat with them.


Taxi drivers plying the San Fernando to Chaguanas and San Fernando to Port of Spain routes are up in arms over the San Fernando City Corporation’s move to relocate them, in a plan to reduce congestion in the city centre.

Ansa McAl chairman, Norman Sabga, in the context of the $1 million loss by Guardian Media Ltd., said Facebook, Twitter and other international companies were able to sell media (and other services) in T&T without paying taxes, have no employees on the ground—a huge advantage to them—and when paid, they receive foreign exchange. This undermines the local media houses.

Nearly 40,000 fires are incinerating Brazil’s Amazon rainforest, the latest outbreak in an overactive fire season that has charred 1,330 square miles of the rainforest this year.

At Massy Stores a few days ago, I spent some time making lists of the sugar content and calories in the fruit juices on sale. I focused on the Nestle, Fruta and Pine Hill brands. Nestle has been promoting a new fruit and veggie medley as a healthy drink. 

At the risk of incurring the wrath of union leaders in this country, I feel compelled to add my voice to the current brouhaha over statements made by the Honourable Prime Minister.

Watson Duke and those who choose to deceitfully condemn Dr Rowley for expressing a blatant truth about a culture of unproductiveness in the public service, and which also extends to State enterprises and public companies, ought to instead use their time to confront reality. Only then will we progress as a nation.