Over the course of 2018 there were many stories that sent shockwaves throughout the island. For the purposes of this article, we have chosen to provide update on four. Between March 9 and 12, four adults died in what would become known as the “Coolie Town rum incident” after allegedly ingesting methanol. There have been no related arrests, even after ACP for Crime Wayne Charlery said: “The investigations into the Coolie Town deaths have been completed, and the file has gone to the Director of Public Prosecutions for advice on the way forward.”
Customs officers on September 6-7 held a sick-out in protest against the proposed Border Control Agency. Civil Service Association general secretary Claude Paul expressed his membership’s concern about the new entity becoming a statutory body. On September 13 the government revoked the Cabinet Conclusion that established the entity and said a team would be appointed to hold discussions with stakeholders. The team was to engage stakeholders and submit a detailed report to Cabinet in December. On Thursday this week Claude Paul told the STAR the CSA had not yet heard anything from the government. The prime minister’s senior Communications Officer, Nicole McDonald, said discussions with the customs officers are still ongoing.
On September 9 the High Court ruled in favour of the Saint Lucia National Trust by granting an injunction order against the demolition of the old Bridge Street prison. One month later, the Trust and the government reached an agreement and the injunction was discharged. In a joint press release on October 24 they announced that a new process would begin with a joint site visit, and that further consultations would take place. This week the Trust informed the STAR that the site visit had not taken place but the two parties have been in dialogue.
Mother of two, 42-year-old Kimberly Williams-De Leon, was shot dead at her home on the evening of October 30. At a press briefing on December 10 the police announced that an analysis of samples from the crime scene had been completed by a forensic lab in St. Kitts-Nevis. The results now need to be collected so that investigations can continue. This week, the police said arrangements for the collection were ongoing. Although a person of interest was named soon after the shooting, there have been no arrests in connection with the death of Kimberly.