State obeys daybreak deadline: Mom, children taken from station cell

State obeys daybreak deadline: Mom, children taken from station cell


The State has complied with a late night court order to remove three Venezuelan nationals, a mother and two children, from the Erin Police Station to a quarantine facility at the heliport in Chaguaramas by 6am today.

Por: trinidadexpress

Nelisbeth Contreras and her two children, eight-year-old Zaid Marcano Contrera and nine-year-old Alicia Marcano Contrera, were placed in a vehicle and escorted out of the Erin Police Station at around 2.30am on Thursday.

The mother and children were among a group of 27 Venezuelan nationals being held at the police station since Tuesday afternoon.

The others, which included 10 adults and 14 young children, remained in cells at the police station as at mid-morning.

The State has until 6p.m today to transfer them.

Relatives who are Venezuelan nationals registered by the Trinidad and Tobago government in 2019 stood outside the police station seeking answers.

A female relative said, “We came here since last night to find out what is happening with our relatives. Three people were moved but the others are still inside there. We are just waiting for the police to tell us something. We don’t know what is happening.”

The woman said the young children in the cells were ailing and uncomfortable.

The others are expected to be removed from the prison cells and taken to the quarantine facility later today.

The group will remain there while their challenge against their deportation that took place over the weekend is heard and determined by the High Court.

Justice Avason Quinlan-Williams ordered that when the quarantine period is complete, the group will be required to remain at the quarantine facility until the court makes a determination on their status in this country.

Two of the children – a four month old boy and his sister along with their mother – will be allowed to stay with the children’s father in Marabella after their quarantine.

The father is currently in this country legally having been one of the migrants who received a registration card by government in 2019 allowing him to remain and work Trinidad and Tobago.

Videos emerged on Wednesday showing the young children behind bars and the women pleading for help.

Justice Quinlan-Williams said the situation could not continue the way it has been with children being placed in jail-like facilities or police stations separated from their parents.

Last Sunday, the group was escorted out to sea by coast guard officers, placed in two pirogues and sent back to Venezuela. This, in spite of an emergency High Court order that they be allowed to stay in this country pending the outcome of the matter.

But for more than 24 hours the group became stranded at sea and returned to this country on Tuesday afternoon.

Again, the group was placed in a Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) bus and taken to the Siparia Health Centre and then Erin Police Station where they were detained.