Caribbean public safety ministers worried about ‘violent events’

Ministers responsible for public safety in the Americas, including the Caribbean, have voiced strong concern at what they describe as “the violent events occurring in the region”.

“We commit to consolidation, strengthening, and international cooperation in public security, while at the same time voicing our concern at the violent events occurring in the region,” said the ministers and heads of delegation, in a joint statement on Thursday, at the conclusion of the two-day Seventh Meeting of Ministers Responsible for Public Security in the Americas here in Quito, Ecuador.

The ministers said these “violent events” undermine democratic institutions “and have resulted in the disruption of public order through pillaging, unrest, and the destruction of public and private property, without prejudice to the legitimate right to demonstrate and to peaceful protest in accordance with the law.”

The statement was made pursuant to paragraph 3a of the “Document of Port-of-Spain: Institutionalisation of the MISPA Process”, according to the Organization of American States (OAS).

“Consequently, we declare our opposition to said acts of violence, crime and insecurity, including those perpetrated as an organised attack on peace,” the ministers said.

They also reiterated their support for democratic institutions, the rule of law, human rights, the right to freedom of expression, assembly, demonstration, and protest.

At the same time, the ministers underscored “the importance of boosting actions to prevent, confront, investigate, and prosecute those criminal activities and conspiracies to commit crime, which threaten public security.”

Likewise, the ministers rejected “any form of violence” and called for “guarantees to protect the integrity of everyone and for full observance of human rights”.

“We consider that dialogue is the best mechanism for settling disputes,” the ministers said.

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