The United States and Canadian governments have not expressed any concern about last month’s protest in the Beetham in their latest travel advisories. The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) mentioned the incident in its latest advisory over the weekend. However, none of these countries, in their respective advisories, have told their citizens not to travel to TT.
The US State Department, in its advisory, maintained its warning that “violent crimes, including assault, kidnapping for ransom, sexual assault, and murder have involved expatriate residents and tourists, including US citizens,”and noted, “The perpetrators of many of these crimes have not been arrested.”
The State Department also advised US nationals travelling to TT to be vigilant as “holiday periods often see an increase in criminal activity.” The State Department also said scenic rest stops and public parks including Fort George, downtown Port of Spain, the interior and perimeter of Queen’s Park Savannah, and all beaches, should be avoided after dark.
The Canadian Foreign Ministry urged Canadians visiting TT to “remain highly vigilant” in Laventille and at popular tourist sites such as Fort George and Las Cuevas beach, where crimes targeting foreigners have been reported.” The only reference made to gangs by the ministry is about “incidents of gangs following cars leaving Trinidad’s Piarco International Airport and robbing travellers once they reach their destination.” The ministry also advised Canadians to avoid large crowds and demonstrations and monitor local news reports for current information. The ministry said, “Sporadic demonstrations and work-related strikes may cause significant disturbances throughout the country.” In its advisory, the FCO maintained its warning about “a high level of gang related violent crime,” particularly in the inner-city neighbourhoods east of Port of Spain’s city centre, Laventille, Morvant and Barataria. Commenting on the FCO’s advisory on Sunday, Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi said Government publicly indicated there was gang-related activity in that protest. Al-Rawi linked this to the Opposition United National Congress’s (UNC) refusal to support the passage of the Anti-Gang Bill 2017 in the House of Representatives.