DPP to decide on Coast Guard’s fatal shooting of Venezuelan baby ‘soon’

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

In this February 2018 file photo, Yermi Santoyo breaks down at the funeral of his of one-year-old son Yaelvis Santoyo who was shot and killed by the Coast Guard. – Photo by Ayanna Kinsale

DIRECTOR of Public Prosecutions Roger Gaspard says a decision on the case where a one-year-old Venezuelan boy by the Coast Guard in February 2022 will be made shortly.

The matter was raised In the House of Representatives on April 26 by Naparima MP Rodney Charles.

In response, National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds said the police were awaiting advice from the DPP on the shooting of Yaelvis Santoyo when Coast Guard officers intercepted and shot at a boat as it attempted to enter Trinidad and Tobago waters illegally.

Hinds said, “According to information provided by the Commissioner of Police, the investigation into an incident at sea, involving the TT Coast Guard and a Venezuelan vessel on February 6, 2022, was concluded and the file on the matter was submitted to the DPP for his direction, when such file was submitted to him on October 20, 2023.”

At the time, the Coast Guard said the illegal boat tried to ram the coast guard vessel so its officers opened fire in self-defence.

Asked for an update on the matter on April 27, Gaspard in a WhatsApp message said a decision would be made soon.

Santoyo, his sister and his mother, Darielvis Sarabia, were hiding under a blanket in the boat. Santoyo was shot in the head and Sarabia was wounded.