Dead burglary suspect had Cabinet Status

Harryton Rivers-Valdespino, the man who was shot dead while breaking into a house last week, was granted Caymanian status by the Cabinet in 2003.

Records indicate Rivers-Valdespino was in prison just before he received Caymanian status.

Rivers-Valdespino, 29, died after being shot in the abdomen by a 65-year-old homeowner while breaking into a home on Liguinea Circle near the Truman Bodden Sports Complex in George Town. He had been ordered to wear an electronic monitoring device on his leg by law enforcement, but had taken the device off before he was shot.

Known also as ‘Harrington’, Rivers-Valdespino had been in trouble with the law from an early age.  In October 2000, at the age of 19, he was convicted and sentenced to four years in prison for the robbery of a taxi driver that occurred in July 2000. He had pointed an imitation firearm – a flare gun – at the victim during the robbery, which was the first known case of a taxi driver being robbed in the Cayman Islands.

Records indicated Rivers-Valdespino initially went to prison on remand for the crime in August 2000 and was not released from prison until July 2003.  The first batch of Cabinet grants of status started in July 2003 and went on through the end of that year.

On the alphabetical list published in the Cayman Islands Gazette on 31 December, 2003, of people who received status by way of Cabinet grants, Rivers-Valdespino was number 2,171 of 2,850.  Rivers was born in Cuba but had family links to the Cayman Islands.

You can read much more on this story in Tuesday’s editions of the Caymanian Compass, which hit stands around 5pm Monday afternoon.


  1. It just shows ya how McKeeva shifted the power of screening and granting statuses from the hands of Immigration Department to his own administration.

    The shift of granting statuses from Immigration to Cabinet’s hands, was one of our big mistakes. We recall how Mckeeva rushed the process and belittled the Immigration Department’s role at the same time.

  2. Just something to think about when you consider who gets status…I moved here 10 years ago. I started a Cayman exempt corporation that allows for me to do business from the island just not on the island. Therefore I do not compete in the local economy. I have paid $12,000 per for my work permit fee + all of the other usual fees. I applied for exempt employee status and received it as my company of course could not function without me running it. I have invested heavily in real estate and been active in the community with local charities etc. I have watched the status grant of 2003, I watched an MLA proposistion a young woman by saying" you know I can get you status" . I had a friend who’s cable TV guy said he could get them status for $2000 as no doubt he was related to someone who could. After 10 years building my business and my dream here in Cayman I think it is time to move on. Not so much due to the difficulties we face as a community but the reason the problem exists in the first place. I was taught in the military that blind faith in your leadership will get you killed. It is the same with the people that have been elected to government with rampant abuse of power including favors for resindency whether it’s for favors or votes. I thought residency was something you work towards, something you earn by being a good person who contributes not only to the coffers but also to the community. I can say that it is an illusion and this is not how the systems works. The people in goverment who give residency for favors don’t care about the country. They are not patriots. This guy who got shot had a police record BEFORE he was given a status grant. How could this be. There are a few good souls in government, Arden etc. However most are out for themselves. This is what you will be left with.

  3. The 3,000 status grants that RUINED CAYMAN
    do not let him do it to us again!

    Editor’s note; This comment had to be editied for legal reasons. We would ask that our readers not make defamatory statements about individuals on these posts.

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