The securing of borders seem to be a huge problem not only for Grenada but other countries as well since we continue to get reports of people entering our shores illegally. Some of these people arrive from countries that see a high number of deaths as a result of COVID-19. Superintendent Curwen was on the air showing concern for the safety of the nation when some illegal foreigners were discovered in the south of the island from a country with the dangerous variant. This was of grave concern.
Then this week, there was another report from the Police that Jimmy Braveboy of New Hampshire, who resided in Trinidad, illegally entered our shores. Braveboy seems to be living up to his name as he appears to have used some innovation in planning his trip. The Police report stated that he recently entered the island of Petite Martinique via a fishing vessel; then later traveled via the Osprey Lines to mainland Grenada and failed to adhere to quarantining procedures on entry into the country. However, he turned himself into the Criminal Investigations Department on Tuesday, so we await to see what will unfold. This incident begs the question ‘what documents are required to be presented when purchasing a ticket from the Osprey or any of those ferries that provide inter-island service?’
The Minister of Health Hon Nikolas Steele reminded us that Trinidad right now has a significant outbreak of COVID-19 which is so frightening. In our research this newspaper has found out that there are over 20,000 cases in the twin isle republic with over 500 deaths. This adds to the very worrying situation that someone can enter here undetected from Trinidad. Because of the way Braveboy came to our shores, no test was done to find out if he is carrying the virus. While on this topic, we extend condolences to attorney Jerry Edwin and the rest of the family of his sister Lynette who recently passed away in Tobago. The former Anglican High School student was doing well in her career as a Senior Ultrasound Technologist. It is reported that she succumbed to complications brought on by COVID-19.
Then there is the story of a boat recently found drifting near Tobago with 14 bodies and a skull and skeletal remains of a fifteenth one. The discovery was made by local fishermen who saw the boat floating while surrounded by Dolphins. As the fisherman peeked into the boat, he saw the bodies that seemed to be all men in an advanced state of decomposition. Trinidad Police revealed in a statement that the bodies are dressed in a uniformed manner with dark track pants and green capes or raincoats and they have so far allegedly traced the registration number of the boat AG231 to Angola in South Western Africa near the Congo. Assistance is being sought from Embassies as they await identification of the dead people. As investigation continues, it is our hope that there will be autopsies to determine the cause of death. In the midst of all the confusion in today’s restless world about infectious diseases, this incident is indeed eerie and is causing some people in Trinidad and Tobago to even attach voodoo to it as they call for priests and other religious leaders to lead prayers in the area near Tobago where the boat was found, in a bid to sanctify it.
Up to press time the nationality of the bodies and the cause of death were not known to us, nor was the origin of the trip that ended in the Caribbean waters. What is also baffling is that there were no missing person reports in the media and why were they all dressed alike. Regardless of country of origin, the bodies of human beings should never be discarded in that way. Even the mass graves for people who have died from COVID-19 in some countries are seen by many as disrespectful.
While we cannot say for sure that the incident is linked to Angola, going back in history we see that in May 27, 1977 many people lost their lives and even disappeared in political riots in that country. Coming out of that presently is a group called M27 that are demanding answers about the whereabouts of their missing relatives. This newspaper has learnt that a commission was set up by the present Government a couple years ago to look into all acts of political violence since independence in 1975, including the 27-year civil war with the Unita rebels, which ended in 2002, and the events of 1977. Based on their culture in that part of the world some are saying that If you don’t know where your parents are buried and you don’t have their death certificates, you cannot mourn them. Another interesting statement we picked up was “Our ancestors have not been put to rest, and if they are not allowed to rest, neither can Angola.”