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CARIBBEAN NEWS SUMMARY for the week ending November 29th, 2013

29 Nov

244 HAITIANS EXPELLED BY DOMINCAN GOVERNMENT AFTER BORDER KILLINGS—11/24/13
The government of the Dominican Republic expelled at least 244 individuals from Haiti after the stabbing deaths of a Dominican couple in an apparent burglary close to the border between the two countries. A mob retaliated for the killings by murdering a man from Haiti. A group of Haitians living in the area sought refuge at a Dominican police station, but police handed them over to soldiers who took them across the border, expelling them from the country.
VIOLENCE AGAINST CARIBBEAN WOMEN A CONCERN FROM OAS—11/25/13
According to Jose Miguel Insulza, the Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), violence against women represents one of the biggest challenges facing the Caribbean and Latin America. He made his remarks at the opening of the Fifth Conference of States Parties of the Belem do Para Convention on the Prevention, Punishment and Eradication of Violence against Women.

COURT RULING IN DOMINCAN REPUBLIC REJECTED BY SEVERAL NATIONS—11/26/13
A ruling from the Constitutional Court in the Dominican Republic has been rejected by the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS). The court’s ruling had made many thousands of individuals with Haitian ancestry into stateless people. The OECS issued a press release to express their opposition to the ruling, describing the court’s decision as “revolting and discriminatory.” The group also called from CARICOM to suspend any consideration of an application from the Dominican Republic for membership in the organization.

TALKS BETWEEN HAITI, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC END AFTER COURT RULING—11/27/13
Talks with Haiti were ended by the Dominican Republic after a Dominican court ruling aimed at stripping citizenship of over 200,000 Haitian migrants, many of them born in the Dominican Republic. The nation also recalled its ambassador from Haiti for consultations. The two countries were having discussions mediated by the government of Venezuela to resolve their differences.

GUYANA BLACKLISTED BY FINANCIAL ACTION TASK FORCE—11/28/13
The Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) blacklisted Guyana after the country did not approve legislation designed to fight money laundering and counter terrorism financing. CTAFT stated that it had developed an action plan with Guyana aimed at the “expeditious rectification of the identified strategic deficiencies,” but Guyana had not met the agreed-upon timelines.

CARIBBEAN NATIONS WANT TAIWAN INCLUDED IN GLOBAL CLIMATE TALKS—11/29/13
CARICOM member nations that are allied with Taiwan want the Asian nation to be included in discussions about global climate issues as an observer. China believes Taiwan is a “renegade province” and has kept the country from being included in a number of United Nations agencies.

AFTER A DECADE, “EAT JAMAICAN” CAMPAIGN BRINGS MINIMAL CHANGE—11/27/13
Jamaica has still not achieved its desired level of food security after ten years of the Eat Jamaican campaign, which was intended to stimulate the production and consumption of local agriculture products. According to Dr. Jerome Thomas, the representative of the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) to Jamaica, some progress has been made, but significantly greater production and consumption of local foods is needed to improve the living standards of the poor in a sustainable manner.

FOUR JAMAICAN POLICE CHARGED WITH FATAL SHOOTING OF PASTOR—11/27/13
Four Jamaican police officers are facing charges relating to the fatal shooting of Trevor Edwards, a pastor, while he was in a taxi in Kingston in 2010. Two male and two female officers have pleaded not guilty to the charges, saying that Edwards was one of several gunmen who fired upon them. Witness accounts dispute the officers’ story, however.

INVITATION TO TALKS ABOUT IMMIGRATION ISSUES ACCEPTED BY TRINIDAD—11/28/13
Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar of Trinidad has accepted an invitation from Jamaica to discuss issues relating to the deportation of Jamaican nationals from Trinidad and Tobago. The Prime Minister said she has advised Winston Dookeran, Minister of Foreign Affairs, to accept the invitation to travel to Kingston for the talks.

PARLIAMENT SPLIT ON PROPOSAL TO CRIMINALIZE SONGS THAT INCITE VIOLENCE—11/29/13
Jamaica’s Parliament is divided over a controversial proposal that would criminalize the production and/or singing of songs that incite violence against police, informers, gays, or other groups. According to Justice Minister Senator Mark Golding, the proposal, Clause 15, as it now reads, is not relevant to the issue of criminal gangs. As worded, Clause 15 addresses the production of cultural material to facilitate criminal activity of a criminal organization, but Golding says it is really focused on using songs to encourage violence against informants and police. Olivia Grange, committee member, believes Clause 15 should be deleted, noting that the Broadcasting Commission and other entities could address this issue.

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