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Venezuelan who fell to his death was allegedly illegally in Territory

- Jose Silva allegedly fell from 3rd floor of Ups Cineplex on March 15, 2020
Venezuela national Jose Silva, 38, fell to his death while working on the third floor of UPs Cineplex on March 15, 2020. Photo: Team of Reporters
Ups Cineplex building: Jose Silva reportedly stepped out of a broken window on to a scaffold to pass a hammer to a co-worker who was in a bucket truck when the scaffold broke, causing him to fall. Photo: Team of Reporters
Ups Cineplex building: Jose Silva reportedly stepped out of a broken window on to a scaffold to pass a hammer to a co-worker who was in a bucket truck when the scaffold broke, causing him to fall. Photo: Team of Reporters
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- Mourning the loss of someone who took the risk of staying in the Territory illegally to work to feed his family back home is not an option, even if the man’s actions were wrong.

This is the position of many who had come to know Mr Jose Silva, the Venezuelan man who fell to his death from UPs Cineplex on March 15, 2020.

Support mechanism

Silva, 38, was his family’s sole breadwinner and had come to the Territory to seek employment to support his wife and children back in Venezuela.

Several persons close to Silva said they are now planning a support mechanism for his family while confirming that, from the looks of things, the family may not get to pay their final respects before he is either buried or cremated.

"Jose was illegal here. He came over a year ago to look work and stayed and was working because he alone was taking care of his family," related a close friend.

"Yes we all know that staying illegally was not the right thing to do but like so many things in life we take risks, he took a big risk, yes we know, he was punished by a bad fall to his death but we still are here and we know of his family’s struggles in Venezuela so we will try to help in some way.

“Jose was a really cool, humble guy. He was illegal so he was just working and staying under the radar, never out there putting himself in a spotlight," added a teary male friend.

Another friend said that they would rather send monies to support his wife for a period rather than spend over $10,000 to send the body home, "but if we can find a way to do both we will.”

Jose reportedly fell when scaffold broke

Silva fell to his death while reportedly working on the third floor of UPs Cineplex. He reportedly stepped out of a broken window on to a scaffold to pass a hammer to a co-worker who was in a bucket truck.

The scaffold broke, causing him to fall.

Silva died on the scene.

Our newsroom was also informed that Silva was hired by a contractor for the day job and was not working directly for the owner of the building.

22 Responses to “Venezuelan who fell to his death was allegedly illegally in Territory”

  • Name the contractor (19/03/2020, 10:00) Like (36) Dislike (6) Reply
    Who hired the illegal person..and throw them in prison!
  • Greg (19/03/2020, 10:16) Like (34) Dislike (3) Reply
    The Contractor has a lot of explaining to do. Very sorry for Mr. Silva and his family. Contractor was supposed to see his work permit, sponsor, identification etc., all of the legal info needed for hiring outsiders.
  • Dulce (19/03/2020, 10:32) Like (59) Dislike (1) Reply
    A whole year.12 long months he is illegal...what this demonstrates is that Immigration is a waste of money. This lil 2x 4 place. How difficult could it be to what immigration is supposed to do. Tons of open illegality all over this place. No enforcement in anything.
    His employer should be arrested for hiring an illegal,unsafe work environment causing his death and also charged for manslaughter. He should be ordered to pay for all expenses connected with the burial,including shipping the body home to the family.
    • @ DuIce (20/03/2020, 02:42) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
      immigration & Labour is a total waste of tax money enforcement in little bvi is a joke and this practice will continue
  • Diaspora (19/03/2020, 11:38) Like (26) Dislike (0) Reply
    What a sad story, a real life tragedy. Venezuela, a country with a large oil reserve, is in political and economic turmoil. Despite its large oil reserve, its citizens are going through some tough political and economic challenges. As a result, many of its citizens have had to flee their homeland to eek out a living to take care of their families and in doing so take some high risks, violating the laws and committing crimes in the country(s) to which they immigrate. And in this instance, the high risk regrettably turn deadly. Though José Silva had broken VI laws to take care of his family, we should all summoned the compassion and extend warm condolences and best wishes and help to the family he left behind.

    The death of Jose Silva on a construction site should result in a safety stand down to ensure that safety standards, policies, and procedures are being strictly followed and enforced. The safety standards on construction sites are too lax. It is not uncommon to see workers on construction wearing improper foot wear (tennis shoes, slippers), head wear and no eye, ear.......etc wear, along with improper and poorly fitting clothing. Here is a news flash. Construction sites are inherently dangerous and even more dangerous when basic safety rules are not followed. It is puzzling that more serious accidents don’t occur.

    Adhering to safety rules save lives, prevent/minimize injuries, improve national productivity, reduce insurance cost, reduce family financial hardships, avoid burdening the medical system......etc. Whatever agency is responsible for enforcing safety rules must get engaged. Further, property owners should ensure (part of contract, ie, writing, oral and implied) that contractors follow all applicable safety rules while working on their property. They should also ensure that anyone working on their property are authorized to work in the V.I.
    • Hot one (19/03/2020, 12:37) Like (6) Dislike (9) Reply
      The problem with socialism is that the Government always runs out of other peoples money and the population always end up having to eat their pets!
      • Diaspora (20/03/2020, 07:29) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
        Socialism like capitalism is an economic system. For the most part, there are no pure socialist nor capitalist countries; there are hybrids. A close peek around the BVI reveals nuff examples of socialism. Karl Max advocated a revolutionary form of socialism, ie, taking private property and controlling. the factors of production. On the other hand, countries like Sweden practice a non-revolutionary form of socialism. Socialism is but one factor in Venezuela melt down. Other factors include mismanagement, corruption.........etc.
    • RealPol (20/03/2020, 07:17) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Real talk!
  • rip (19/03/2020, 11:45) Like (14) Dislike (0) Reply
    Poor chap
    • the rock (19/03/2020, 13:19) Like (26) Dislike (0) Reply
      I don't see him as poor i saw a man that did what he had to do to keep his family going, i saw a great man, rest in peace to him and i will like to make a donation to know family.
  • True (19/03/2020, 13:22) Like (26) Dislike (7) Reply
    his employer needs to be charged with negligent manslaughter and be thrown in jail as well as fines and charges for hiring illegal workers with forfeit of their trade license
  • concern (19/03/2020, 14:25) Like (15) Dislike (2) Reply
    There are a lot of these illegal ppl here working in bars and on construction sites. The immigrations should do better. And others that are here legally, can’t get any work.
    • But (19/03/2020, 16:33) Like (18) Dislike (1) Reply
      Its not just Immigration's responsibilities. The "sons of the soil" kno the laws in hiring, so they should not have hired or be hiring illegals. But u see where they can cut corners, and save costs, by paying illegals whatever they want, and not have to pay SS, NHI or any other fees associated with having employees, MANY of them choose the cheaper route. They do not care about these ppl, or further more, for their country, when they themselves are scamming the labour and immigration dept of funds, while actual tax payers are being pressured with a new tax here, a new fee there in order to drum up revenue. Kno better, do better! Its everyone's responsibility.
  • ReX FeRal (19/03/2020, 15:40) Like (12) Dislike (0) Reply
    There is no immigration enforcement or surveillance since Walters and the hill man retired. Sad leadership and management of that beleaguered department. Yes I said so.
  • Tafari Zharr (19/03/2020, 15:55) Like (8) Dislike (1) Reply
    A legal but moral dilemma - Shhhh , people, Hold Off The Judgments!

    This Moment calls for us to be compassionate. People do what they need to NOT choose to - in order to survive. We have no stake in our own creation but survival is a personal and brave, not cowardly, journey.

    Doesn’t matter biblically that one bread can be broken amongst many because fear of hunger is real. But faith is also Frightening! Imagine not knowing how you get through each day as you live in fear yet having enough faith to show up everyday for honest work.

    Also, People Get romantic tales of BVI life and like Christopher Columbus they come to discover the islands; come to the BVI for this and that but they fall in love with the rolling hills, the blue seas and the proud VI people; VI people are awesome, petty, solid, and confident and the list goes on; but very territorial (which is ironic for being a BOT; another component)

    Perhaps, the deceased’s “Faith” was that if he don’t survive “his circumstances” the people whom He work and die Amongst have his back.

    BVI is misleading in terms of island life and mentality; it can fool people unless you really ingratiate yourself. Because even though he probably didn’t have plenty he might have died knowing he was “Enough”- Enough for his family and enough for the island he choose even if that island had not yet chosen him and probably in his lifetime never would; sucks!

    Perhaps, here is another imperfect immigrant who died consequentially because he loved his family; and that alone - the sacrifices of it must hurt the very people he intended to lift up. But, what if our Christian communities decided to step up for “fallen” immigrants (who are people too). Or, Just celebrated an immigrant’s bravery not his weakness; and his worthiness and not his misdemeanors.

    A lot of Virgin Islanders entered American life and society similarly by overstaying- or crossing the border illegally! Once things changed and protections put in place with agreements signed their immigrant processes were eased. But our neighborhoods no longer look like they traditionally used to (geographically and economically).

    Yet, no excuses, we must also re-examine how we tell the immigrant plights; or stories of those that we think not “exemplary” enough. At best, a serious look inside actual best protocols of this industry of “construction” compared to that of immigrants in the VI vs. what producing “food” is for immigrants in America. (another topic).

    In our time NOW, We have a responsibility! People should look to the BVI as a model of excellence; people should want to live work and move to the BVI because of the various success stories of the BVI as a BOT.

    Agreeably though- it is a way for “us” to be good again!
    Not sure the way forward- but a posthumous award or recognition- considering the wishes of immediate family to offer repatriation in kind for the benefit of perhaps - the members- to be given an opportunity in our society- a show if benevolence that is the heartbeat of the best of the VI!

    So, WWJD or what would our ancestors do? History tells us the went searching for work. We know the ancestors would forgive, be compassionate, and honor life because that was the hand that was often offered by them- by the way “people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones“ is an Old BVI Proverb too.

    Conclusively, There are no winners in this sad human tragedy even if his employment Status was “straight” an unfortunate accident may still have happened.
  • life (19/03/2020, 17:21) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
  • Jaj (19/03/2020, 18:35) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    I don't think he was just hired for a day I think d poor man was working for next to nothing poor soul RIP
  • Hmm (19/03/2020, 18:58) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Lots of illegal working in the BVI ... but because of who they work for they are untouchable. Lots in East End .
  • Tim (20/03/2020, 06:34) Like (0) Dislike (1) Reply
    I am concern why comments never get posted.
  • Thay (29/06/2020, 18:04) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Need Mr hill and Mr Walters back in immegraton

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