The families of three T&T nationals detained at the Chaguaramas Heliport after being held on the boat involved in a shooting incident with the Coast Guard want answers on why they are being detained without any charges being laid against them.
The men were in the boat with dozens of Venezuelan migrants heading to Trinidad on February 5, when it was intercepted by the Coast Guard and after shots were fired, a Venezuelan baby was dead.
Since their detention, the Ministry of National Security has repatriated 35 Venezuelan migrants to Venezuela.
Marcia Williams, the mother of one of the men, Andre Daniel, told Guardian Media via phone, “All I know is that my son is in the Chaguaramas Heliport and I am not getting any information or any reason why he is there.”
Daniel, 32, of Morvant has been detained since February 6.
“I don’t know if he is healthy or if he is eating. I don’t know what is taking place, so I am not sure what is taking place. We are not getting any answers from anybody. We have retained the services of a lawyer but not much has been brought forward to him as to what is happening with my son,” she said.
She added that they still did not understand why he was being detained after nine days.
“They told us that Andre was under quarantine but they could not provide any documents to prove that he took any COVID-19 test. When I went they did confirm that he was at the facility but I cannot see him and they did not give us a reason as to why we could not see him.”
Williams insists that they should release him or charge him accordingly.
Guardian Media attempted to contact Acting Commissioner of Police, McDonald Jacob for comment on the claims but his cellphone went unanswered.
The Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard couldn’t be reached for comment.
The nationals can face charges related to assisting the illegal entry of migrants into T&T if investigations point to their involvements.
Since the death of baby Ya Elvis Santoyo neither the Police Service, the Coast Guard nor the Ministry of National Security has given any update on the status of the investigation.
The mother of the baby, Dari Elvis Sarabia was also shot in the incident.
She underwent surgery yesterday as doctors at the Sangre Grande General Hospital inserted a surgical metal plate into her shoulder to help hold bones in place and to assist in the healing process due to significant damage by the impact of the bullet.