The surge in violence in the Caribbean region is attributed to the increased availability of firearms, and the majority of crimes, including murders, involve the use of illegal firearms. Almost all the guns in the region are illegally trafficked, they are not produced locally and governments strictly regulate imports. The primary source of these weapons is believed to be the United States, particularly Florida, reports the Economist. (See May 2’s Just Caribbean Updates)
- In Barbados, hybrid solar- and battery-powered cold storage systems were successfully implemented at 10 health clinics. These systems use rooftop solar PV systems to provide reliable power directly to on-site cold storage facilities, ensuring the stability of vaccines, insulin, and other medical therapies. (Clara Lionel Foundation)
- Puerto Rico is exploring the use of microgrids and decentralized solar power to create a more stable and resilient electric grid in the face of hurricanes and power outages. Communities like Adjuntas and La Margarita have implemented microgrids that provide reliable power during storms, and many other communities in Puerto Rico are looking to replicate this model. (Delaware Public Media)
- The Guyanese High Court ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency acted improperly by granting a permit to ExxonMobil for a pipeline, but did not quash the project. (Kaieteur News)
- Guyana’s proposed gas-to-energy project could increase the country’s debt and lead to an oversupply of power, according to a report by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis. (Kaieteur News)
- The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis criticized the lack of transparency regarding the financing arrangements for Guyana’s gas-to-energy project, involving ExxonMobil. The report highlights that neither the Guyanese government nor ExxonMobil has been transparent about the project’s cost or financing details. (Kaieteur News)
- Suriname is introducing measures in its petroleum agreement for its first big project, Block 58, to prevent revenue losses and ensure the government receives a higher share of upfront dollars — avoiding the mistakes made by Guyana in its oil production sharing agreement with ExxonMobil, according to Kaieteur News.
- Four Guyanese women founded Sispro Inc., a company that bids for offshore oil blocks in Guyana’s expanding oil and gas sector. (News Room)
- Dominica’s “golden passports scheme,” one of the world’s biggest citizenship by investment programs, has officially raised more than $1 billion since 2009 — a former Afghan spymaster, a Turkish millionaire convicted of fraud and a former Libyan colonel under Muammar Gaddafi are among the thousands of individuals who purchased citizenship, according to a new investigation by the Guardian and 14 other international news organisations, in partnership with the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project.
- Significant concerns and issues related to Saint Kitts and Nevis’ Citizenship by Investment Programme include the issuance of SKN passports for the purpose of facilitating financial crimes, leading to a U.S. FinCEN Advisory, or the severance of ties with mainland China, resulting in SKN passport holders being denied visas to China. (Caribbean News Now!)
- If elections are carried out in Haiti under current conditions, “gangs will control the polls. Terrorized people will vote for gang-affiliated politicians and even gang leaders themselves, some of whom are entertaining the idea of running for office”, argues Pierre Espérance, executive director of the National Human Rights Defense Network in Haiti, in an opinion article for The New York Times.
- “The U.S. and the U.N. should be prepared to assist Haiti with humanitarian and economic aid to help the country recover, but they also need to support the creation of a transitional government that is not tainted by the corruption and abuses of the current leadership”, says Daniel Larison, journalist of foreign policy and international affairs, in an article for Responsible Statecraft.
- The fraud case related to the alleged attempt to rig Guyana’s 2020 elections has been adjourned until later this month, a move aimed at determining whether a special magistrate or court will be appointed to oversee the case due to its complexity and resource-intensive nature. (Department of Public Information)
- “As democracy delicately balances on the principles of majority rule and the protection of individual and minority rights, an unyielding, independent judiciary stands as its steadfast guardian. It is incumbent upon judicial members, and society at large, to relentlessly uphold and defend the rule of law against encroachment”, states Ronald Sanders in his commentary Threats to Democracy: The Erosion of Judicial Independence for Antigua News Room.
The Caribbean and the World
- CARICOM should conduct a comprehensive assessment of the implications of the BRICS expansion and to carefully consider its relationship with BRICS in light of its evolving foreign policy interests and principles, argues Nand C. Bardouille in The Geopolitics.
- A High Court judge has ruled that the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service’s tattoo policy is unconstitutional, discriminatory, and ill-advised. The case focuses on Dillon Ramraj, who was disqualified from applying to join the TTPS because he had a visible tattoo on his hand. (Trinidad & Tobago Guardian)
- Jamaican-American author Jonathan Escoffery’s debut novel, “If I Survive You,” has been named as one of the six finalists for the prestigious Booker Prize for fiction. (Repeating Islands)
- The Dutch Caribbean remains a significant and risky route for Venezuelan migrants, with more than 7 million Venezuelans fleeing their country. Recent interceptions by the Dutch Coast Guard reveal lucrative human smuggling and trafficking routes involving Venezuelan migrants. (Caribbean Magazine Plus)
Economics and Finance
- Cuba’s Prime Minister, Manuel Marrero, announced the revision and updating of the legal norms governing micro, small and medium enterprises in the country. It is emphasized that there will be no setback in this decision since there is consensus in advancing the increase of economic actors in the country. (OnCubaNews)
- The European Union will fund Advocate, Innovate, and Mobilize (AIM), a 30-month project aimed at enhancing the capacity of more than 135 Jamaican civil society organizations working in various fields, including health, education, and gender. (The Gleaner)
- The Commonwealth Secretariat has launched a new debt transparency handbook aimed at helping member governments in the Caribbean align their public debt operations with international standards. The handbook provides guidelines for achieving debt transparency, which can help governments make informed economic decisions, hold governments more accountable, reduce uncertainty for investors, and boost market confidence. (Caribbean Times)
- A push to make Patois Jamaica’s official language, on par with English, is building as the country moves forward with plans to become a republic and cut ties to the British monarchy. “Long stigmatized with second-class status and often mis-characterized as a poorly structured form of English, Patois has its own distinct grammar and pronunciation. Linguists say Patois, which is also called Patwa, Creole or, simply, Jamaican, is about as different from English as English is from German,” reports the New York Times.
- The tallest statue in the Western Hemisphere, a 350-foot bronze monument of Christopher Columbus, stands in Arecibo, Puerto Rico. While statues of Columbus have been removed in various parts of the world, including the Caribbean, the massive statue in Puerto Rico has survived calls for its dismantling. It remains a divisive symbol on the island. (Repeating Islands)
- Costa Rica, with the support of the United Nations (UN), has been developing Latin America’s first-ever strategy to combat hate speech and discrimination on online platforms. The strategy aims to address the alarming trend of hate speech and discrimination online and lay the foundation for new national policies. (Caribbean News Now!)
Climate and Environmental Justice
- “Putting faith into SRM at the expense of emission reductions would also squander what we don’t have – time”, stated Uta Klönne, Carl-Friedrich Schleussner, and Bill Hare for Climate Analytics regarding a report by the Overshoot Commission promoting potentially risky solar radiation modification technologies as a solution to climate change.
- The Climate Conscious Podcast host Derval Barzey sits down with Marion Atieno Osieyo, the mind behind the Black Earth Podcast, an initiative that explores the intricate relationship between nature and black women environmental leaders. Listen.
- The UN Environment Programme released the first draft of a new global treaty aimed at eliminating plastic pollution by 2040. It calls for the prevention, reduction, and elimination of plastic pollution throughout the lifecycle of plastic and mentions the possibility of global bans on high-risk plastics. (Edie)
- Trinidad and Tobago is experiencing the effects of rising temperatures and climate change. The country is expected to see an increase in air temperatures, a decrease in rainfall, and other climate-related impacts in the coming years. These changes are already being felt, with recent hot spells and reduced rainfall affecting agriculture and water availability. (Repeating Islands)
- Rueanna Haynes, an international climate law and governance specialist, with over a decade of experience in the UN Climate process and a TEDx 2020 speaker, gave an interview to Racquel Moses, CEO of The Caribbean Climate-Smart Accelerator, where they talked about how to pursue a career in law & international relations. Watch.
- Stronger Podcasts launches a monthly episode featuring voices from across the Caribbean as they share their general knowledge and accounts of their experiences in the struggle against disaster capitalism and its many faces. Listen.
- Two Jamaican civil society organizations, in partnership with the Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI), have established a Coalition for Forests consisting of 27 Jamaican civil society organizations (CSOs). The coalition’s goal is to campaign for increased budget allocation for forest conservation and management in Jamaica and promote participatory budgeting and public finance management approaches. (Petchary’s Blog)
- “Dementia: The Island Journey,” a documentary by Rianna Patterson, the founder of the Dominica Dementia Foundation, is indeed a powerful and important project that challenges ageism in media and offers fresh perspectives on dementia. Watch.
- Carla Gullotta, the executive director of Stand Up For Jamaica (SUFJ), emphasizes that mentally ill individuals in Jamaican prisons should not be incarcerated but should receive proper assessment and care in institutions designed to address their mental health needs. (The Gleaner)
- “In certain cultures, people report their symptoms in very different ways, so this also has to be informed in the research that we undertake in these cases. For example, a lot of rating scales which are validated or used internationally might not be able to even capture the kind of symptoms that are reported or experienced in certain parts of the world”, states Dhriti Sarkar, therapist and lived experience adviser at Wellcome, on why anxiety research is a challenge in low and middle-income countries.
- “The people who want to curtail the rights of others are consistent in their twisting of the constitution. They reference the preamble of the constitution as though it is the constitution itself when, in fact, it is not. It is the section that comes before the constitution even begins, hence the prefix “pre” which means before”, writes Alicia Wallace for the Bahamas Tribune.
- Making a Case for Investment in Universal Childcare in Barbados argues for public investment in universal childcare in Barbados; specifically, it explores the potential effects and benefits of investing in universal childcare. (Published by UN Women Caribbean in 2022.)
- “We cannot continue to let our women, girls, men, and boys, suffer in this country, and not have the proper laws and/or legal mechanisms in place to at least give them a fair opportunity to get proper justice and redress”, argues Jeshua Bardoo, a Vincentian barrister-at-law, and solicitor, for I Witness News about the inadequacies and limitations of St. Vincent and the Grenadine’s current legal definition of “rape” under its Criminal Code.
- Guyanese mining magnate Nazar Mohamed has withdrawn from a consortium responsible for constructing a $300 million logistics base for Exxon Mobil Corp in Guyana. The move comes amid a U.S. criminal investigation into Mohamed and his son Azruddin for alleged money laundering, drug trafficking, and gold smuggling, which they deny. (Reuters)
- 11 October — Transforming Guyana Season II, Episode V Transparency & Accountability and the Emerging Guyanese Oil and Gas Economy — The Guyana Business Journal Magazine & The Caribbean Policy Consortium. Register.
- 11 October — Conversations on Migration in the Caribbean — IOM UN Migration. Join.
- 12 October — Pan-Africanism in Cuba — Witness for Peace Solidarity Collective. Register.
- 17 October — Pilot to Permanent: Retrofitting our Streets — Island City Lab Register.
- 18 October— TEDxPort of Spain Women — Tricia Kissoon, CEO of JMMB Investments and Securities, Rachel Renie, co-founder of three successful businesses within the sector of agriculture & more speakers will explore the theme “Beyond” — Central Bank Auditorium, Port of Spain Trinidad and Tobago Buy tickets.
- 19th October, The Reality and Management of Climate Challenges in the Caribbean: The Case of Bonaire — Terramar Museum Bonaire — organized by Islanders at the Helm in collaboration with Terramar Museum, Delft University of Technology, KNMI – Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute and Climate Adaptation Services (CAS). Register by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 21 October — University of Guyana Gala and Fundraiser event. Purchase tickets & more information.
- 24 October — Monthly Key Debates in Island Studies Zoom reading group focused on a single, important topic for contemporary island-related studies — Kasia Mika and Jonathan Pugh — Join.
- 14 November — Resetting Caribbean Policy Analysis: In The Aftermath Of The Covid-19 Pandemic by The Institute of International Relations, UWI St Augustine and the Caribbean Policy Consortium — UWI Central Bank Auditorium. More info: email@example.com
- 18 and 19 November — Guyana Diaspora Sustainability & Investment Conference — in London at the Kensington Conference Centre.
- Climate Tracker is looking for an operations manager with 3 or more years of experience in a leadership role and excellent communication and interpersonal skills. The responsibilities of the role include overseeing the day-to-day operations of our organization, managing staff, coordinating projects, and ensuring the smooth running of business processes. Apply.
- Inter-American Development Bank is looking for a Special Advisor on Climate Change based in Washington DC with a hybrid dynamic. Candidates must need a master’s degree in global development, foreign policy, ecology, environment, sustainability, or other fields relevant to the responsibilities of the role and at least 15 years of progressive experience in leading high-impact initiatives at the global and regional level towards combating climate change, with at least 10 years at the senior leadership level. Apply.
- Civil Society Organizations serving key populations based in Belize, Jamaica, Guyana, Surinam, and Trinidad & Tobago can apply for funding for small grants to support Advocacy Campaigns focused on preserving access to HIV and sexual and reproductive health services using traditional and social media. More information.
- The Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) and Only One, a global climate action platform, have launched a petition urging world leaders to support the Loss and Damage Fund at the upcoming COP28 climate conference in December. Sign. (Island Innovation)
Jordana Timerman/Just Caribbean Updates