The UNC Women’s Arm welcomes the installation of lights at Heights of Aripo, even though it is more than a year after we demanded this and other action to be taken in order to protect our women.
The whole country — except, it seems, the Government! — was moved by the horrific murder of Andrea Bharatt and the discovery of her decomposing body at the Heights of Aripo in January 2021. It was the last straw that broke the camel’s back.
Andrea Bharatt’s murder traumatized the nation. We saw outrage, anger and an outpouring of love and support for her family. For a brief moment her death united the country with candlelight vigils and prayers.
Penelope Beckles and Marvin Gonzales, in particular, showed no care to protect their constituents.
After first insulting and denigrating the protesters, the Government finally professed to care and passed pepper spray legislation. However, this has still not yet been operationalised. As regards their other promises — such as Street Lights and a Police Post for the Heights of Aripo — nothing has been done to this day.
Bharatt’s death also revealed that there were no working CCTV cameras in the area to assist investigators with solving of the crime.
On top of the lack of action, were so many bad decisions by this Keith Rowley-led regime. The dismantling of the National Operations Centre (NOC) — a strategic arm of the crime fighting apparatus — was another one. The helicopter was left at Camp Cumuto for 5 years and then wrapped like a doubles and sent back to Canada in the wee hours of the morning. These assets need to be used in crime fighting.
Everything else, however, including renewing Faris’s rent contracts, has taken priority for this PNM Government over the safety of our women.
The Heights of Aripo continued to be dark and a dumping ground for dead bodies. It is like the government just doesn’t care about the people anymore: who lives, lives and who dead,
In the meanwhile, a year after Adrea Bharatt’s murder came another horrific murder of 21 year-old Keithisha Cudjoe, whose decomposing body was discovered in the same area.
As we have said before, this government has failed the people of Trinidad and Tobago. They are hapless, hopeless and bereft of ideas, and they must demit office immediately.
National Women’s Arm
United National Congress