Corruption and Crime, Saint Lucia’s Twin Monsters

WE boldly state that should crime and corruption be eliminated in the country today Saint Lucia’s economic situation would improve 100 percent.

We also maintain that for our economy to grow and be resilient we must hold our leaders to account and ensure that the stewardship of public funds translate into better outcomes for all of us and not for just a few.

We continue to treat crime with kid gloves, but despite the gains which have been achieved with the several investments that the Government of Saint Lucia has made in both the police and judiciary, we are still struggling to corner crime and bring it under control.

Unless all political parties, politicians, legislators, civil society leaders, and citizens all sing from the same song sheet regarding the eradication of crime, crime will continue to be the monster it presently is, causing death and destruction to as many people as it can, it being no respecter of persons.

The sharp rise in crime in Saint Lucia over the past six or so years has so seriously affected our national psyche that today, a curse word, a loud voice or a mistaken identity can get someone killed in this beautiful country of ours.

Saint Lucia is a violent country irrespective of how some of us may try to deny it. Our homicide rate, over the past five years, has been trending upward, so much so that we are no longer moved by the horrendous act. A murder is not even headline news anymore.

Crime and security-related issues are perhaps the biggest problems facing Saint Lucia today. Yet we, as citizens, continue to politicise crime; half the population happy when crime is a problem under the governance of the Saint Lucia Labour Party, and the other half happy when that same problem exists under the reign of the United Workers Party.

Even as we stick our heads in the sand, like the proverbial ostrich, happy to dance to the tunes of our respective political party, our young men are dying, families are torn in anguish, all over the senseless death of their young ones.

Crime is destroying the bedrock of our development, which is our young people, yet we rejoice. How sick a people can we be?  We rejoice even as crime eats away at our Gross Domestic Product, unaware, or seemingly so, that crime is causing our weak socio-economic performance, altering our lifestyles, and throwing more and more of us into poverty as both local and foreign businesses decline to invest in a country that is seen as crime infested.

The same applies to corruption, which certainly has negative effects on the growth and development of a country by impeding investment, which will affect growth and jobs and interferes with how government spends funds for the development of the country, much to the detriment of future economic growth.

Too many Saint Lucians are so consumed with party politics that they fail to consider how strong a constraint corruption is on the growth and development of Saint Lucia. They scream to the heavens about how corrupt government is, but do so only when their party is in opposition. They clam up when their party forms the government, irrespective of the fraudulent conduct of the men and women therein.

“It’s my turn now” can never be accepted as a justification for unjust and unfair behaviour. Decisions and treatments based on perceived political loyalty or, worse yet, political opposition are an insidious undermining of our national character.  Saint Lucia belongs to all of us all of the time, not to some today and others tomorrow.

1 Comment

  1. On August 16 2019, my husband Martin Ellis became the second British tourist to be electrocuted in St Lucia. You may have seen some of the press coverage (Search Martin Ellis St Lucia).

    A lawsuit for damages and compensation was filed in the Saint Lucia High Court in September of last year, based largely upon the report written by the chief engineer of the Saint Lucia Electricity Board detailing how the electrical equipment associated with the running of the dam and reservoir had not been maintained since it was built.

    At the beginning of this year, both Wasco and Vinci, the civil engineers contracted by Wasco to remove the silt from the reservoir behind the Sir John Compton dam, agreed to go through a mediation process in order to determine an out-of-court settlement. There have been some strange arguments put forward. At first, Wasco claimed my husband was informed he was trespassing, and ordered to leave, refused to do this and was therefore responsible for his own death. At the same mediation session, Wasco claimed to have demobilised, i.e. withdrawn all personnel sometime in June because work was running late. Vinci said the same. This makes no sense because the police interviewed all the people who were working there at the time, and all were employees of Wasco.

    A great deal of mediation time was spent on these theories, as Wasco and Vinci dug themselves deeper and deeper into a legal hole.

    Mediation has now ground to a halt. It was supposed to recommence early this summer, with a view to being concluded in July. That date came and went, and October was mentioned as the time when the process would be concluded. We are now halfway through October and still there has been no mediation.

    A statement attached was made by my son the morning after his father was electrocuted, and describes clearly what happened. It is written in the handwriting of the policewoman who interviewed my son, so cannot be denounced as a forgery or tampered with.

    Wasco also asserted that my husband should have requested permission to visit the dam. Over the summer, a travel journalist, Kate Calvert, who has published many travel guides, wrote to Wasco via the ‘contact us’ section of the Wasco website, requesting permission to visit the dam and hike around the reservoir behind it, as she did many years ago. Her email was unacknowledged and there was no response. She sent it a second time and again there was no acknowledgement or response. It would appear that it is not possible to request permission to visit the dam and surrounding area, as Wasco’s website seems not to be used.

    As and when the mediation process recommences, we will start the session with Lucian reading his statement. This might be deeply embarrassing to Wasco’s representatives as it will reveal them as telling untruths and therefore being unreliable witnesses. Therefore, please can you bring this email and its attachments to the attention of your contacts at Wasco, giving them the opportunity to quietly drop these fictitious assertions and get on with the business in hand.

    If you care to email me, I will send you copies of all the reports and statements described above.

    [email protected]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Send this to a friend