As the community continues to reel from the effects of this week’s murder in the East End community, Premier Natalio Wheatley said he believes the United States should do more to stem the flow of guns into the BVI and the wider Caribbean.
At a press conference earlier this week, Premier Wheatley said CARICOM continues to struggle with this issue where guns from the US continue to wreak havoc in many of the region’s countries.
“It’s long been a cry by CARICOM, most of the guns that you find in the Caribbean originate in the US. It’s a concern for all of us and we do believe the US can do more to stop the proliferation of guns in this region. Certainly, it’s something we all have to take into account,” Premier Wheatley explained. “In the very same US, they face the same challenge with guns being used in mass shootings.”
The Premier also said CARICOM continues to lobby the US to do more to stop the illegal weapons that leave their shores and are bound for the Caribbean.
“We’re going to continue pressing along with our CARICOM brothers and sisters for greater control of guns in our region and the US has to play a key role in that,” Premier Wheatley emphasized.
Earlier this week, Governor John Rankin
expressed deep concern over the proliferation of illicit drugs and guns in circulation and the challenges faced in effectively managing the territory’s porous borders.
He said there is also a need for attention to be given to the territory’s youth through training, education, and effective social services, so that they will not become involved in gang culture or connected to the drug trade and gun violence.
While the BVI remains one of the safest Caribbean jurisdictions, the community has seen a rise in murders and drug-related crimes in recent years. Fear of reprisal also prevents many people from giving information about crimes that happen in their communities.