In Trinidad: US AG for ‘secret’ talks with PM on Thursday

15 November 2011


High level crime plan to be discussed? “Top secret” discussion to include Ministers of National Security and Foreign Affairs

US Attorney General Eric Holder is coming to Port-of-Spain on Thursday for a face-to-face, closed-door meeting with Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar. Holder also will take part in the Organisation of the Americas (OAS) Conference’s third Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Public Security in the Americas (MISPA III). He also will hold bi-lateral and high-level meetings with other foreign embassy officials in T&T.

The meeting and conference will be closed to the media. A senior Government official said yesterday they are “top secret”. Persad-Bissessar will be accompanied by National Security Minister Brigadier John Sandy and Foreign Affairs and Communications Minister Dr Surujrattan Rambachan. Holder is expected to arrive in Port-of-Spain on Thursday evening and leave for Washington on Friday.  Before coming to T&T, he will travel to Barbados for a meeting with that country’s Prime Minister, Freundel Stuart, and Attorney General Adriel Brathwaite.

He also is expected to meet with Attorneys General from other Eastern Caribbean countries on security matters. Ministers and vice ministers from the 34 member states of the OAS, responsible for national security, are expected to attend the meeting. Listed amongst the heads of delegations are Tillman Thomas, Prime Minister of Grenada and Minister of National Security; Rodrigo Hinzpeter, Minister of Interior of Chile; Eduardo Bonomi, Minister of the Interior of Uruguay; Homero Arellano Lascano, Minister for Co-ordination of Internal and External Security of Ecuador; Jose Ramon Fadul, Ministry of Interior and Police of the Dominican Republic; Douglas Singh, Minister of Police and Public Safety of Belize; and Sam Condor, Minister of National Security of St Kitts and Nevis.

The meeting, part of preparatory events for the sixth Summit of the Americas next April in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia, will focus on police management as a key factor for progress in achieving better security for the citizens of the Americas.

The high-level authorities will seek to build on three major areas:

• Modernising police institutions within a democratic framework;

• supporting police professionalisation and training; and

• strengthening co-operation on police information systems and enhanced use of technology.

The ministerial meeting will conclude with recommendations on the issue of police management and the adoption of the Document of Port-of-Spain. OAS secretary general, José Miguel Insulza, said MISPA meetings “have been placing increasing emphasis on aspects related to the co-ordination of criminal justice, in full awareness that we add capacity for prevention and interdiction if we work together. “These permanent bodies of discussion and agreements allow authorities responsible for law enforcement and public safety management to identify the roots of the phenomenon of crime and violence in the hemisphere and generate consensus and co-ordinated action to face it,” he added.

The opening ceremony will feature Insulza, Prime Minister Persad-Bissessar and Minister of National Security, Brigadier John Sandy. MISPA I was held in Mexico City in October 2008, and MISPA II took place in Santo Domingo in November 2009. Holder was sworn in as the 82nd Attorney General of the United States on February 3, 2009 by Vice President Joe Biden.

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