Mark Pereira, the art dealer beloved in Trinidad & Tobago, was killed at his home on Monday during a robbery attempt.
The tragic event occurred on the evening of December 19 at Pereira’s vacation beach house in Blanchissuese, northern Trinidad. While detailed reports about the robbery haven’t emerged, it was confirmed on Tuesday that Mark Pereira was alone in his bedroom when he was shot during the attempted robbery. Tragically, his death occurred mere hours before his 67th birthday on Tuesday.
The murder of Mark Pereira was mourned by the entire art community in Trinidad and Tobago. The Art Society of Trinidad and Tobago posted a detailed message on Facebook, calling Mark “always generous with his wisdom which contributed significantly to the promotion and development of visual art in Trinidad and Tobago”. Trinidad Art Resellers called his death “[loss of] a great asset” to the country. Rebecca M. Forster, an artist based out of Trinidad, expressed “shock, hurt, anger sadness” at his death.
Mark Pereira was born in Trinidad in 1955. After juggling between various careers in his early life – including sales and hospitality – Periera found his true calling in the Caribbean arts in 1980. In the following decades, he championed the Caribbean arts and brought it to the forefront of the country’s art scene.He also owned the 101 Gallery in Port of Spain.
Mark Pereira’s death also highlighted the rapid rise in crime in Trinidad and Tobago. The homicide rate in the country has increased from 29.7 in 2014 to 38.5 in 2019 per 100,000 people. A report published in November counted 523 murders so far in 2022, of which only 14% resulted in convictions. The country also ranks 12th in per capita murders.