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HomeOpinionEditorialSt Lucia’s ‘Old World flycatcher’: Part 2

St Lucia’s ‘Old World flycatcher’: Part 2

By Caribbean News Global

IMPACS investigation

In the “essence” of what was previously described as “ the substance of governance” – and now – the Parliament of Saint Lucia, nourished with three former prime ministers and current, are yet to stabilize the country and come full circle on the stalemate of IMPACS.

“Saint Lucia is at the junction of lawlessness and the ungovernable. No government can advance the security of Saint Lucia without facing up to IMPACS.” ~ CNG Insights.

A few extracts from ‘What’s the fear over the IMPACS investigation? published August 11, 2015, reads:

“National security and immigration are two major components of sovereignty that the region can do with much better regulations and enforcement.

“Taking a wild swings at treaties, conventions and political agreements signed by governments is a battle that is not won by a theatre of the absurd that may play well at election time but, rather, it is a change of character, social conscience and observing our cultural values with strong leadership and collective legislative action that will reinforce the rule of law in the region and avert further crisis.

“The demographic challenge on hand cannot wait much longer for constitutional reform and the fancies of policymakers with little to no positive influence at home or abroad. In particular, when turning a blind eye to the rule of law has fueled widespread backlash, resentment and self-defeating economic obstacles.

St Lucia’s ‘Old World flycatcher’: Part 1

So what’s the fear over IMPACS investigation and the recommendations, when the damage has already been done?

“Perhaps the biggest reason you’ve heard is that the report suggests that “the crime problem in Saint Lucia is facilitated by corrupt politicians/government officials, business persons and police officers.”

“But beneath it all is the ineptitude to take the courageous decisions to the main findings of investigations into the alleged extra-judicial killings by the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force. All the while knowing that “In effect, if the sanctions are to be removed, we must show proof that we are taking corrective steps to deal with the situation.”

What is the difference between long-outstanding issues and the IMPACS investigation findings?

  • “Members of the high command of the police force who may have been involved in ‘covering up’ these matters”;
  • “The report confirms that ‘the blacklist or death lists’ referenced by the media, human rights organizations, victim’s families and citizens alike did exist”:
  • “The investigators report that all the shootings reviewed were ‘Fake Encounters’ staged by the police to legitimize their actions”:
  • “That the weapons supposedly found on the scene of the alleged ‘extra-judicial killings’ were from sources other than the victims. The investigators say that the weapons were planted on the scene of the shootings”:
  • “The investigators also advised that a number of shootings were done by police officers and are listed on the murder statistic as being done by unknown assailants”:
  • “Investigators also reported that in the course of the investigation, some senior officers did not co-operate with them… the main server of the computers used by some members of the high command of the police force was deliberately tampered with. In two instances, the operating systems of the computers were altered to place the supposed contents beyond ‘the timeline of [the] investigation’ or probe”:
  • “The report has also recommended that some senior police officers be held accountable for their actions or for their failure to take appropriate action when the alleged killings occurred”;
  • “The investigators also concluded that what operated during the period under review was an environment of impunity and permissiveness designed to achieve the desired results. Willful blindness existed in respect of the commissioner of police and particular members of his leadership and management team”:
  • “The investigators have recommended that all police officers involved in the unlawful killings of citizens in respect of the files reviewed must be prosecuted”:
  • “In all, the investigators made some 31 recommendations many of which touch on the management and administration of the police force.”

Will it be more of the same, leaving in fear in communities, towns and the city where legislators are accused of links to unsavoury protagonists?

Consider the following:

  • “The matter of pursuing criminal charges is the preserve of the Director of Public Prosecutions and it is she who will pronounce on the same once her actions are consistent with our Constitution”:
  • “The question of whether anyone is to be prosecuted is solely for the director of public prosecutions to determine after evaluating and assessing the probative value of the evidence placed before her. Likewise, it is for the courts to pronounce on the innocence or guilt of any person who may be charged. The most that the executive arm of the government can do is to provide the resources to the director of public prosecutions to carry out the duties and the responsibilities assigned to her by our Constitution.”
  • “For the above reasons, save for some administrative adjustments that have now become necessary in the High Command of the Police Force, I am not here to, nor will I order that police officers be charged or dismissed or offered packages to retire from the police force.”

 Related: St Lucia’s Police Force Beyond Repair

Thus ‘When politics trumps national security in St Lucia,August 10, 2015, and now, the reflections are conclusive:

“Listening to the discussions surrounding important issues on the island concludes a devastating period of obsession with egotism and rhetorical onslaught to defend both government and political leaders that are inept in the execution of basic management fundamentals.

“Daily, the focus is on political rhetoric and the poker game of whose up and who’s down. And career politicians, in and out of government, who don’t understand the business and economic realities facing the country, are constantly exposed.

“As the sun shines, government misunderstanding of the level of fiscal irresponsibility is made worse by the exploits of the vacuum in national security, making dumb decisions and passing stupid laws at the expense of the people and the future economic viability of Saint Lucia.”

Our country is fast becoming a dangerous neighbourhood,” said the assistant commissioner of police with responsibility for northern division, Troy Lamontagne, September 27, 2023:

Let us not allow our situation to worsen. I encourage you to do the right things every time to make our communities safe and secure. Safety and security will not be achieved by chance. It will be accomplished by deliberate and direct action against those who threaten the safety and security of our communities, property, and children.”

Westminster democracy

In the Westminster model of democracy, vast power is concentrated in the prime minister’s office. How this is used varies in accordance with the ability to tackle domestic and global issues that confront society, taking into consideration convenient ideology, philosophical persuasion, lucrative contracts with businesses, seizing a larger share of the national pie for friends and associates rather than increasing its size; the lobbyist interest, and to leave open loopholes to influence future interest upon leaving office.

But without question, at the most basic level, the government must take full responsibility for law and order; guarantee safety and protection; and provide adequate and effective responses as mandated by the constitution of Saint Lucia.

If government cannot do that, then it is unfit to govern!

In 2023, Saint Lucia is still subject to “Leahy Law”.

  • With the collaboration of partners and associates in the UK, USA, St Lucia and Canada.

Related: Part 1

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