Story by SASCHA WILSON

A special reserve policeman who owns the vehicle used in the kidnapping, rape and attempted murder of a young Venezuelan woman, has been arrested.

He was detained after police stopped his car along the Foreshore in Port of Spain this morning.

This comes in the wake of a public outcry by Venezuelan and Trinidadian nationals on social media who are demanding justice for the 18 year old woman.

Photos of the policeman’s car, as well as the officer himself, began circulating on social media this morning. Surveillance footage shows the woman, an empanadas vendor, crossing the road on Tuesday and entering a white car, which she believed to be a taxi, along the Guapo-Fyzabad Main Road. 

According to reports, she was carrying a large bag with her and was either on her way to sell empanadas or on her way home. In the car were two passengers and the driver.

The woman never made it to her destination. Guardian Media understands that she was blindfolded, tied up and taken to a gravel road off the M2 Ring Road in Debe, where was robbed of money, raped and stabbed multiple times on her neck. Her attackers then pushed her out the vehicle and left on the road for dead. 

Reports are that at around 1.40 pm, occupants of a passing vehicle saw her lying on the road, covered in blood and called the police.  A photo on social media shows the woman lying on the road while a police officer holds her hand. Another photo shows civilians and police officers gathered around her. On a Facebook page called Trinidadians and Venezuelan, there were calls for the perpetrators to be be arrested, claiming one of the attackers already had been identified.

“Apparently this person was suspended as a police officer for a similar case that he committed against a local woman. For people who are unaware of the case, this girl was only going to sell empanadas like any other day, and she got into a “taxi driver” who ended up kidnapping her, raping her, stabbing her and leaving her lying on an abandoned road and left for dead by those who committed the act.  This cannot continue to happen, the law has to be enforced, many women, even local women, suffer from insecurity in this country,” members of the Facebook group stated.

Claiming that this was not the first time something like this happened, the Facebook group called on the Prime Minister to protect women in this country. 

Fellow Venezuelans offered best wishes to the victim and her family and prayed that God give them the strength to get through this difficult situation.

A senior police officer assured that an intense investigation into the incident is ongoing. However, he said that police are concerned about the victim, who remains in a critical condition at the San Fernando General Hospital.