Foreign Affairs Minister Carl Greenidge said on Friday that the visa requirement for Haitians entering Guyana is a product of legislation, discussion and agreements among the Caricom states.He said that, sometime ago, certain categories of travellers from Haiti, including diplomats and Government officials, were exempted from visa requirement, but the general populace is now required to be in possession of a visa when visiting Guyana.Greenidge’s statement was a response to an update on the Haitian nationals that are currently in protective custody of the Police here. They are said to be victims of a human trafficking ploy.According to Greenidge, Guyana has found itself in a position now where Haitians come to Guyana, but the Police, (in this case) acting on evidence, decided that there may be cases involving people-trafficking. “Therefore, they have held some of those persons”.He said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is hoping that the police move expeditiously to decide whether there is evidence, and try to ensure that particularly women and children in that group are not put in any unacceptable circumstance in terms of conditions.He said Guyana’s international obligations regarding all migrants have been communicated to the police.Greenidge has said that Guyana, since the 1940’s and 50’s, has not been receiving a high influx of migrant flows. He said there has therefore not been any modifications to the legislation and regulations.“So you are treating everybody as though they are normal travellers or visitors; and if they arrive in large numbers, the police and immigration act in a way consistent with the legislation that is appropriate for large migrant flows, including refugees”.He said Government has to be sure it is in position that, should that happen, it is treated properly and expeditiously. He said that is a concern that has been brought to the attention of executing agencies.Police are currently investigation the alleged involvement of Haitians and other Caribbean nationals in a transatlantic human trafficking scheme. Late last month, 10 persons were taken into Police custody, while in excess of 40 citizens of the French Caribbean State were subsequently transferred into protective custody after falling victim to the scheme.Ranks of the Guyana Police Force had unearthed the scheme which links Haiti, Suriname and French Guiana in a major human trafficking operation, using Guyana as their main transport harbour. Based on information received, Haitians are brought to Guyana, then taken to Suriname and later French Guiana, where some of them are being abused and exploited for labour. Following a tip-off, ranks have been zooming in on a 20-year-old medical student who was taken into custody on Friday after the discovery of evidence linking the Haitian national to the ongoing trafficking scheme.During their investigations, Police were directed towards information which revealed that the medical student had been receiving large sums of money from Haiti, which they believed are his payments from traffickers for his supply of individuals to be exploited.As such, the 20-year-old was arrested by ranks from the Major Crimes Unit at his Eccles, East Bank Demerara home, where a Haitian woman and her child were found.A further 10 individuals were detained that very evening, among them Haitians and Surinamese. These individuals were en route to the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA), from where another 12 children and 15 adults were brought in through this system.According to information received, upon arrival at the airport, the Haitians provided information to officers regarding reservations made at the Guyana Marriott Hotel and Princess Hotel. An investigation was then conducted regarding the reservations, only to discover that they were subsequently cancelled.Reports revealed that the victims of this grand human trafficking scheme left their homeland in promise of a better life and favourable salary once settled in French Guiana. However, the Haitians were faced with conditions contrary to the arrangements the moment they left their home.
FOR decades, the Los Angeles Unified School District has sat like a giant boulder on the L.A. landscape – unmovable, unresponsive, indifferent. Now, something wild is about to happen. This rock’s about to roll. The force of all the different players pushing for reform has coalesced. First Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa made school reform his signature issue. Then reformers ousted the old guard in this year’s school board election. And now LAUSD Superintendent David Brewer III has announced his plans to rock the district bureaucracy. Because this district is about to roll.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! At his State of the Schools address last week, Brewer detailed an ambitious five-point plan for overhauling the district. The plan involves making decisions based on data (not trends or politics), providing employees with professional development, encouraging innovation, engaging parents and community, and ensuring student safety. But more important than the plan itself is its overarching philosophy: Brewer has expressed a willingness to do whatever it takes to bring the district back to respectability, an intolerance for failure and intransigence, and a genuine will to fight the long hard fight ahead. It won’t be easy. As soon as Brewer finished his address, old-guard members of the school board were already making the case for more mediocrity and inaction. But Brewer’s got all the momentum on his side. He has the mayor. He has the majority of the school board. And most important of all, he has a public that is tired with the old excuses and clamoring for change. “The time for commitment, action and unity is now,” Brewer said. “Work with us, lean on us, bicker with us, keep us in check” – they’ll need all the help they can get.