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Teixeira blames poor leadership for fiery jailbreak

Opposition Chief Whip Gail Teixeira on Wednesday slammed poor leadership and incompetence as reasons for the 2017 Camp Street Jailbreak – especially on the heels of a similar prison riot where 17 inmates were killed just 16 months prior.
“I am not laying blame on the army, police and fire (service) and prison (service) … they were confronted with an extraordinary situation and they were unprepared,” she told the National Assembly as she presented a motion on the incident which was initially submitted by parliamentarian Bishop Juan Edghill who – because of mistakes in the Parliament Office – remained suspended from the business of the House.

Teixeira declared that the buck stops at the Minister of Public Security Khemraj Ramjattan as head of the country’s security sector and pointed out that despite numerous warning signs, he ignored or failed to act to prevent the disaster from striking.

“The situation was completely unavoidable!” she posited.

Teixeira contended that the Minister of Public Security should have been made to resign since the first disaster at the Camp Street Prison in 2016.
She explained that following the 2016 unrest which claimed the lives of 17 prisoners, a Commission of Inquiry (COI) made a host of recommendations which were not being implemented by the government to avoid such a situation from happening again.

She noted too that during the COI, another riot erupted and yet, the government did not take precautionary measures to ensure the situation does not reoccur.

Teixeira noted too that the Inter American Commission on Human Rights, in a statement, said the government must take action urgently to protect prisoners right and address overcrowding situation and yet, the government did nothing.

Teixeira also noted the events following the flattening of the prison in 2017 where 8 hardcore criminals escape, and explained that once again – because of the failure of the government to assume proper leadership – 13 more prisoners escaped after being exposed to inhumane conditions in a pasture at Lusignan.

She said the handling of these situations exposed the ineptness of Ramjattan and the government to address matters of crime and security of the nation.

“It is time for all of you to go,” she expressed.

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