Chairman of T&T deportee task force collapses and dies

(Trinidad Express) Chairman of the Deportee Task Force (DTF), William Latchman collapsed and died today, shortly before he was to speak at a consultation on ways to assist deportees.

Latchman was to the deliver the remarks at the inaugural stakeholders engagement in the National Strategy for the Reception of Deportees in Trinidad and Tobago. It was to start at 8 a.m but was delayed for the arrival of Minister of the People Dr Glenn Ramadharsingh.

Around 9 a.m. Latchman collapsed outside the Cascadia Hotel’s conference room. He was rushed to the Port of Spain General Hospital.

At the start of the consultation about 90 minutes past it scheduled start time, a prayer was said for Latchman. Vision on Mission head, Wayne Chance said Latchman was passionate and the only one who sought to help him following his incarceration when all others turned their backs on him.

Shortly after Chance spoke of the man who he described as a “good friend” a message was delivered to Ramadharsingh about Latchman’s passing. Chance was seen crying while being consoled by the Minister.

In his feature address Ramadharsingh said that the consultation should be dedicated to Latchman who he said was hand picked by Chance to head the DTF. Ramadharsingh said since being appointed some eight months ago Latchman had been working tirelessly to assist deportees in the re-integration into society.In his feature address Ramadharsingh said that all available resources should be afforded to deportees so that they would become productive members of society.

Chance told the gathering that assistance for deportees is a crucial thing as he thanked members of the Special Branch Division of the Police Service. Chance said had it not been for them there might have been several explosions across Port of Spain by a deportee with military background in the area of chemical explosives.

He said that in October the Vision on Mission team would open two facilities – one for women, after a female deportee was raped having had nowhere to turn following her re-introduction into society. – and one for men in the Wallerfield area.

Among the groups gathered for the consultation were the Trinidad and Tobago Nazarene Youth International, the Barbados Youth Action Programme, a variation of Vision on Mission, the Salvation Army and several deportees.

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