TRINIDAD: Venezuelan mom murdered, children separated

(TRINIDAD EXPRESS) – As police search for two men in the murder of Venezuelan mother Evelyn Francisca Mata Rojas at her Carapichaima apartment three weeks ago, her three young children have been separated.

The children, ages 12, nine and seven, have been staying at separate houses with friends and relatives.

Trinidadian pastor and crisis intervention social worker, Dr Rampersad Fad Lutchman, met the children as he officiated at the woman’s funeral service at Guide’s Funeral Home, San Fernando, two Fridays ago.

Lutchman said he was heartbroken by the children’s situation and was moving to help them.

Together with the Rondel Jagessar Children Foundation, Lutchman has provided the children with food, clothing and other items.

He said: “The children are staying in separate places right now but they want to be together. So we are hoping to find a way to bring them back together at the same apartment. We will organise the rent and have them in one place. The father is willing to stay with them but he, too, is unemployed and needs help.”

The young children are unable to speak English, he said.

About 15 people, including the children, attended Rojas’s funeral. The children cried uncontrollably for their mother who had brought them to Trinidad in search of a better life.

Helpful and kind 

Rojas was allegedly shot dead by her Venezuelan boyfriend at her apartment at Ojar Maharaj Extension, Waterloo Road.

Police are searching for the boyfriend who also lived in one of the apartments, as well as another man, in connection with the incident. Relatives said Rojas spoke English well but she had not been working for the past few months.

Lutchman said he was contacted by a local translator to perform her last rites. “It was there I formed a bond with the children and pledged to assist them,” he said.

Lutchman said Rojas was born in February 1990 in Tucupita, Venezuela. She had three children — Jose Antonio, Heximar and Hector Enrique.

“Her sister said she was a vendor in her home town and was always willing to help everyone and giving them a word of advice. She came in Trinidad trying to make a better life for her and her family,” he said.

Lutchman was told Rojas came to Trinidad three years ago and assisted many of her relatives in fleeing their home.

“So we will help to keep her children together and to find a way to have them together because that it all they have now,” he said.