By Caribbean News Global contributor
CASTRIES, St Lucia – Prime minister and minister responsible for justice and national security Philip J. Pierre has succeeded deputy prime minister and national security minister of Jamaica Dr Horace Chang to assume the chairmanship of the Council for National Security and Law Enforcement (CONSLE).
“It is my honour to assume the chairmanship of CONSLE, an organ of the CARICOM responsible for the formulation of regional security policies and its coordination,” prime minister Pierre noted on social media. “On behalf of CARICOM, I wish to thank Dr Horace Chang, the outgoing chairman of the CONSLE … for his service to the region. I look forward to collaborating with other governments to ensure the security and freedoms of our people.”
Minister Chang recently complete an official two-day visit to Saint Lucia, where he held high-level discussions with prime minister Pierre, as well as the minister of home affairs and public service, Dr Virginia Poyotte.
“When there are security challenges in Jamaica or in Saint Lucia, it impacts on all of us. We are one Caribbean and we have to work together to combat all security threats to the region,” Chang said. He is also scheduled to meet with the incoming chairman of the CARICOM Council for National Security and Law Enforcement (CONSLE) – responsible for the coordination of the multi-dimensional nature of security, to ensure a safe and stable Community.
According to the press release from the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) Tuesday, December 20, 2022:
“On December 15, 2022, prime minister Pierre held an audience with the outgoing CONSLE chair. The meeting profited an opportunity for Pierre and Dr Chang to explore avenues that will advance the mandate of the CONSLE which includes developing and promoting measures designed to combat and eliminate threats to national and regional security, ensure the expeditious and efficient mobilisation and deployment of regional resources to manage and defuse national and regional security crises and to combat serious crimes in consultation with the relevant member states.”
Dr Chang was also accompanied by a special delegation out of Jamaica which interfaced with senior leadership of the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force (RSLPF) the crown prosecution services, and the office of the attorney general which is headed by Leslie Mondesir, the OPM reported.
“The aforementioned exchange provided an opportunity to deepen cooperation, strengthen mutual legal assistance arrangements and enhance intelligence-sharing processes between Saint Lucia and Jamaica to strategically attack crime and dismantle and disrupt the activities of criminal networks and organisations domestically and regionally.”
St Lucia and Jamaica are experiencing surging crime rates. Prime minister, Andrew Holness, recently called on the assistance of the United States in identifying and prosecuting individuals who fund criminal operations in Jamaica.
“We intend to use the relationship to try and tackle a part of the problem for which we have no reach, and that is the Jamaicans who have migrated to the United States and use the cover of their residence [in the US] to influence, solicit and fund crime in Jamaica,” he said. “We have a list of them, which we intend to pass on to you, but we will welcome your help and support in identifying, tracking and prosecuting those persons and potentially extraditing those persons to Jamaica.”
Meanwhile, Saint Lucia is unable to face up to resolutions to the Leahy Law restrictions amid rising crime and criminality in Saint Lucia, the government of Saint Lucia, desperate for some type of intervention has channelled to Martinique and Jamaica for apparent solutions to crime management.
The writing has been on the wall for a very long time that The Leahy Law, continues to be the elephant in the room, alongside IMPACS. Diversion of efforts to national security in Martinique, Jamaica and CARICOM, are inconsequential and will continue along the lines of a zero-sum game – if the Leahy Law and IMPACS are not addressed head-on.
Prime minister Pierre will lead the CONSLE amid apprehensions and urgencies to secure the homefront, as expressed by members of parliament in Saint Lucia.
Senator Allison Jean, said: “I don’t know if to go as far as saying it’s a failed state, but certainly there seems to be anarchy in our country,” Senator Allison Jean, told Loop News. “It is time that something is done to curtail it,” she declared.
Emma Hippolyte commented in an article entitled, ‘Crime impacting image of country’:“ The person who are doing this are our children, our sons, our cousins, nephews (and) boyfriends,” the MP from Soufriere opined, following the fatal shooting of one ex-pat and another, reported in stable condition at the hospital, gathering global publicity for Saint Lucia. Hippolyte added. “We have a responsibility to put an end to the darkness that is covering our land.”