(CMR) Venezuela has demanded a thorough investigation into the shooting death of a one-year-old child by the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard on Saturday. The child was on a boat transporting migrants when it was shot at by the Coast Guard.
The Coast Guard said they fired at the boat's engine after orders for it to stop were disobeyed, and it attempted to ram their boat. After the shooting, the child and his mother were found to have suffered from gunshot wounds. The child, identified as Ya Elvis Santoyo, died in his mother's arms, and the mother was later taken to the hospital.
The Coast Guard said they had no idea the boat was transporting migrants and only became aware after they were finally able to intercept the vessel.
However, local news records said the 37 Venezuelan migrants who were detained during an operation have disputed the Coast Guard's version of the incident.
Speaking with Newsday on Tuesday, attorneys Criston J Williams and Siddiq Manzano said the migrants denied that they attempted to ram one of the Coast Guard's boats and claimed a faulty engine prevented them from trying to escape.
The group of migrants consists of 20 children and 17 adults; several of the children were unwell and vomiting.