The Government of Saint Lucia is taking the fight to criminal gangs and other criminal organisations, which, over the last few days, have turned the town of Vieux Fort into a shooting range with deadly consequences.
With seven shooting deaths recorded between Thursday and Friday of last week and rumours of more deadly shootings each day after, the mayhem in the island’s second largest town has citizens on edge pleading for an end to the madness.
Prime Minister Philip J Pierre last night in an address to the nation, came out swinging noting that the Special Services Unit of the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force will be patrolling the hotspots of Vieux Fort on a 24-hour basis, and military personnel from the Regional Security System will, from early this week, be on the ground in Vieux Fort all in an effort to crush the shooting spree and bring order to the town.
The prime minister said his government will engage in other efforts as well to end gun crimes in the town and bring peace to the area.
Here is the full, unedited text of the prime minister’s address to the nation last night:
My fellow Saint Lucians,
Today, Saturday 11 March 2023, our nation continues to grieve after yet another night of senseless gun violence in Vieux Fort. Our hearts go out to the people who lost families and loved ones who were killed or injured during these past few days.
I want to assure Saint Lucians that we continue to take the issue of gang warfare seriously.
We are working with the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force and the community to restore peace. Our children, the residents, and citizens have the right to live and work safely anywhere in this country.
Schools in Vieux Fort will re-open on Monday.
I want to thank the medical and security officials who responded to these tragedies with bravery and professionalism.
Today, I met with the top officials of the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force. The briefing focused on the carnage of the last forty-eight hours and the steps being taken to combat the gang-related activities and retaliatory practices in the town of Vieux Fort.
As of Thursday, March 9th, to Saturday, March 11th seven  localized homicides have been reported apparently in reprisals to the killing of a well-known individual.
The Royal Saint Lucia Police Force responded immediately and has been deployed and stationed within the community for over forty-eight  hours.
Ammunition and firearms have been retrieved and persons arrested due to the tactical work of the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force.To date we have taken the following actions to arrest the situation in Vieux Fort:
- The Regional Security System [RSS] and other assets have been contacted and will be on the ground early next week.
- 24-hour SSU Patrol is being deployed. The police will be given more resources to assist in this upsurge of violence. Special operations will be conducted by the police.
- New Legislation will be enacted to deal with the suppression of crime. I once again stress the importance of collaboration between law enforcement and residents.
The government will continue to provide support and resources to help the police restore peace. I ask for the support and cooperation of the public as the police step up their operations, particularly in Vieux-Fort.
No one wins when this situation is exploited for political gains. This is not a time for anyone to gloat, rejoice or point fingers. It is not a time to make baseless statements which can only create more panic and fear. We are taking charge of the situation. We will succeed. We will build a safe and more secure society.
We must fight these criminal networks called gangs and encourage our young people to reject their lifestyle.
Especially in times of tragedy, we must come together as a nation. We must support one another
and work together to prevent future acts of violence. We will not let fear, envy and hatred divide us. We will stand together as Saint Lucians and work towards a brighter future for all.
Tomorrow, Sunday, March 12, 2023 I will meet some civil society and business leaders to discuss the current situation and seek solutions to the problems.
It is time to act, and I ask for your support. There will be some difficult decisions to be made, and some strong actions will be taken to deal with these cowards and criminals. This is our country and will prevail.
May God bless us all.
I Thank you.
SHOW ME A MAN WITH A VISION:
Show me a man with a vision, tell me lies, and make believe you care, show me a man who would stand tall among other men, who will come forward to quench the violence in my beloved Island in the sun. We do not replicate bullets of any kind, and we have no gun factory on the Island, yet we are plagued by constant shootings of one sort or the other, followed by a hail of flattery talk by the official.
Even amid disaster, they find time to bicker and point blame at each other, bastards open your eyes to the suffering of my people. We will do this, we will do that, we have started talks with the officials the police department will do what exactly, where were they when one of their citizens got killed, where were they when two of your citizen got killed, at number three they are still missing in action.
Yes show me a man with a vision, poor Kenny’s words can heal our nation, yes, action can cure the wound, if the police are not able to police such a small town like Vieux- Fort then there is no hope for the Castries people, then what will Pierre do? the blatant truth of the matter is that we have sold our birthright to foreigners and given them the liberty to come and go as they, please.
Your greed to have plenty has blinded your vision, giving president to foreign dictatorships and people of rebellious character, doing what they have done in their province long before you openly welcome them with love and throw down the key to the city to them.
Make no mistake those gangs or those outlaws, have a master, and that may be your kin so who will police the police when corruption is at its peak?
Wake up my people, Tiawanise, and all foreign nationals who are now nesting in your fair cities, building themselves cities, and businesses, they have back doors to a crime syndicate and the entry port is wide open to guns and bullets.
Do you think it is one of your local citizens importing those weapons of mass destruction, if you believe this then you are a bigger fool than I thought, go ahead and check their warehouses, and see if they will open it to you, that is how they dominate and oppress their people now you.
If the status quo is to jail someone who has committed such a brazen crime, you have but lost the fight, money talks bull shit walks, I say if you are pronounced guilty hang them.
St. Lucians you should not be allowed anyone who has firearms to sell or trade on the Island, nor carry conceal weapons, go ahead call the army, call the CID, you might as well call Ghost Busters for all the good it will do you if you cannot come together and kick some asses.
Come Together as one: