Margaret Pratt witnessed her husband being killed in January 2014 and has since then been waiting for justice from our local authorities. She issued a public letter to the Director of Public Prosecutions, Daarsrean Greene, pleading for some progress with the case. However, not much has happened since he sent correspondence stating that he had taken the matter into his own hands. Frustrated, Margaret Pratt decided to not keep quiet, but to keep the trajectory she gained on social media.
Still, dates were called and the case experienced more adjournments. Despite the lack of correspondence from local authorities, Margaret is still pressing on. Her unwavering campaign has now gained many supporters. Other people who suffered tragedy in Saint Lucia, who had been waiting long and tirelessly for justice, have also decided to speak up with Margaret. A video with a round table discussion of three women still anticipating an answer from our Crown Prosecution Service is in the pipelines to be released. In the video these women also explain their observations of other instances where a lack of professionalism was shown in the services provided in Saint Lucia.
Tourism is currently the most important industry in this country and all three women who faced calamity on our shores are from the United Kingdom.
In December 2009, fourteen cruise ship tourists were attacked near a waterfall. Two men were attacked in their cottage in February 2011 (which may have been because of their homosexuality) by a local man. Anne Pearson is the daughter of Gloria Greenwood, a Saint Lucian national who was murdered and found in her garden on October 16, 2011. Margaret and her husband were on their sailing vessel in January 2014 when he was murdered. February 6, 2016 also marked the date when visitor Georgina Mortimer was raped at a rented facility in Saint Lucia. She had come to the island for a sailing workshop.
International media has reported on all these incidents. Further, in a number of articles, although not all verified, Saint Lucia is ranked high on the list of dangerous Caribbean destinations. That feat is made even worse as a result of still to be resolved issues affecting the local judicial system.
The potential exposé on the cards from three UK nationals reveals a number of observations not foreign to our knowledge. Our incredibly high crime statistic for this year is mentioned. One of the women goes on to say, “We know that the police struggle to investigate, to come to a conclusion, and then when it does reach the court system, it is ineffective, doesn’t deliver . . . lack of respect, lack of competence.”
From their statements these women are not only concerned about their cases but all the others in the Crown Prosecution’s backlog. “They’re pulling the wool over the local people’s eyes because recently in the press they’ve said something like 51% of the cases have been solved and they’re not solved at all! What they mean is that they’ve detained people. It’s not the same.”
Through more frustration being voiced in the international media, it is left to be seen how the once buried tragedies will affect the island’s push to be recognized as a luxury travel destination.