DEATH PENALTY ENDED IN SURINAME—03/07/15
In Suriname, the General Assembly has given its approval to legislation that will formally abolish the death penalty in that country. However, legislators also increased the top prison term limits from 30 years to 50 years. This is viewed as a compromise to changing the Criminal Code. Additionally, the government discarded provisions allowing the conditional release of people convicted of capital crimes. Individuals facing charges such as murder or major drug offenses will no longer be eligible for release after serving 75 percent of their sentences.
DOMINICA JOINS CCJ APPELLATE COURT—03/08/15
Dominica has become the fourth nation of the 12 CARICOM member nations to access the Appellate Jurisdiction of the Caribbean Court of Justice. According to Chief Justice Dennis Byron, the CCJ has always been the court for Dominica, but now it is the “whole court.” Levy Peter, attorney general of Dominica, expressed thanks to the British Privy Council for its years serving as appellate jurisdiction. He noted, however, that it was time to eliminate all traces of Dominica’s colonial past.
INTERNATIONAL TOURISM SAFETY CONFERENCE TO BE HELD—03/09/15
The 2015 Caribbean international Tourism Safety & Security Conference is scheduled to be held in Curacao at the end of June. The conference will address tourism safety, which is viewed as a critical issue in the success or failure of a destination. In recognition of the larger role security and safety play in the selection of a tourist destination by consumers, the conference will focus its discussion on these matters.
US$2 MILLION PROVIDED TO CARIBBEAN LABOR PROJECT BY EU—03/10/15
The European Union is providing US$2 million toward a Caribbean project designed to encourage coherent policies, support regional and national dialogue on labor issues, and facilitate communications between employers and workers. An agreement signed by the international Labor Organization (ILO), the Caribbean Employers’ Confederation (CEC) and the Caribbean Congress of Labor (CCL) launched the project in December 2014.
DNA AIDS RESEARCHES IN FINDING ORIGINS OF SLAVE SKELETONS—03/11/15
Researchers from the School of Medicine at Stanford University and the University of Copenhagen are using ancient DNA extracted from the skeletons of three African-born slaves who died 300 years ago to find their origins. Using DNA from teeth, researchers found the location in Africa from which the individuals came.
TSUNAMI RISK SIGNIFICANT FOR CARIBBEAN AREA—03/12/15
According to a new study from RMS, an international risk management company, the Caribbean is at major risk of experiencing a damaging tsunami resulting from a large earthquake. RMS looked at all the subduction zones in the world that are capable of producing earthquakes of magnitude 9 and found that the Puerto Rico Trench, while dormant, could generate waves equal to those experienced in 2011 along the Japan Trench. Researchers noted that the Dominican Republic and the U.S. Virgin Islands could potentially see waves measuring nine meters.