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Hilaire Urges Relentless Fight Against Social Ills Amid Violent Crime Surge

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Tourism Minister Dr. Ernest Hilaire says Saint Lucians, the government, and other partners have to fight against the island’s social ills.

“We have to be relentless in our fight. We need to fight until we win this battle against the grave consequences of the social ills that we face,” Hilaire told reporters on Tuesday on the sidelines of a House of Assembly meeting.

“It is unfortunate that sometimes it spills over into areas that are really core to our economic survival. But we are not going to letup. We are going to intensify the fight to ensure that we win this victory,” the Castries South MP asserted.

At the same time, Hilaire explained that Saint Lucians have to have confidence in the future and in what they can achieve and pursue it.

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The Minister spoke amid a spike in gun violence locally and extensive British press coverage of the fatal shooting of United Kingdom native Donnie McKinnon, who had been living in Saint Lucia for many years.

McKinnon’s friend and fellow UK native, Peter Jackson, sustained injuries in the shooting at a bar in Soufriere last week.

Regarding the British press coverage, Hilaire explained that management plans are in place to deal with such situations.

“They do arise. They have arisen many times in the past and protocols have been put into place in terms of how we relate to those situations. Is is a concern to all of us – every incident in Saint Lucia is a concern to us,” the Minister told reporters.

And he declared that Saint Lucia has to address the matter.

But Hilaire noted that beyond that, Saint Lucia has a lot to offer.

“This is not Saint Lucia. Saint Lucia is an extraordinarily beautiful place – very rich cultural heritage, fantastic creative expression and we have to sell that,” Hilaire.

Nevertheless, the Minister emphasised the need to address the country’s social ills.


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  1. Start with Sealy…. unfortunately the battle will never be won unless people like her and others in your cabinet including yourself set the example.

  2. The biggest ‘ill’ in St. Lucia is not crime, it is poverty.

    Crime is the consequence of poverty, if people cannot afford to eat, educate their children properly, aspire to owning their own home, car, etc., there has to be something wrong with a society that allows this. It is then little wonder that people turn to crime.

    I was recently in St. Lucia and found it incredible that a lot of workers in the so-called main industry, i.e. tourism, earn as little as XCD 3 an hour. if someone worked 8 hours a day for 5 days, that is XCD 120. Taking a trip to the local Masseys, there is very little you can buy for XCD 120, let alone XCD 3.

    To put it into perspective, I was in St. Lucia for 11 days and the hotel charges for this were XCD 14,500. That was just for 2 people for 11 days and there were a lot of rooms in the hotel.

    Maybe if employers paid their employess a living wage and not peanuts, it would be a start. This would then trickle down to other sectors of the St. Lucian economy. Especially when you consider the amount of money some hotels are charging and contrast it with what they are paying.

    Politicians are letting this happen so they are as much to blame as anybody else.

  3. It took long for the acting prime minister to say something. Its a shame that no one from the Soufriere Representative Office can visit or even pick up the phone to call the family of the victims.

  4. ……poverty has very little to do with this gun violence in St Lucia, do you know what’s the cost for a 9mm on the black market here if was not sent to you in a barrel cost?? Going price is ECD$3500 without a body without ammo ECD$1600 to 2000 with a body on it without ammo ECD$100/120 to rent with ammo. Its big business, people are making money from this that’s why there is an uptick in the gun violence there are more players in the field offering their services. You think is those little ragga muffins importing guns, big people behind it but they will never be called out for doing it.

  5. And what is the point of people wanting a gun ?

    If it is not to rob another person / business, are you saying that the people who buy / rent / have guns are technically mentally deficient and just like killing people for their kicks ?

  6. And why do people have guns ?

    If it is not to rob other people or businesses, are you saying that these people who buy / rent / have guns are mentally deficient and just like killing people for kicks ?

  7. ………why have you not made the suggestion for ” the phone to be picked up” and call families of the victims as it pertains to average St Lucian who are taking the brunt of gun violence every day?? Yeah, your Uncle Tom White Ass Massa Lover knows why.

  8. Hilaire, your track record speaks for itself. I am not sure you have any intentions to combat crimes in SLU. You have only come forward only because the London press has taken the incident in Soufriere to another level – You are only concern about one incident. There were 67 other incidents and not for once did I hear from you. The pressure is now on the government and they are all over the place trying to give a speech here there and everywhere. In the next few weeks, these speeches will turn into no action and the criminals will have a Merry Christmas as they will continue to achieve their objectives. We in SLU need some serious leaders and I am not talking about Pierre and Hilaire.

  9. Name one institution in St. Lucia that is functional? Just one? This is a failing state. Corruption is everywhere … and in every state organisation. We’re spiraling into Haiti. Our only hope is foreign intervention … FBI…CIA to come shake up this place.. remove the crime leaders in high places and end these infuriating and more statements to say and do nothing…bla bla bla.

    Pissed every time I see these hypocritical and holy than thou, politicians in the media.

  10. For those who feel that the incompetence of St. Lucia’s Cabinet is irrelevant just remember that once bad perception cements its place in the minds of tourists it takes YEARS to rectify.
    Hillaire has finally been flushed out of hiding as after 18 failed months as Minister of Tourism with only talk take and travel (12, 15 trips?) to show for it he realizes that the holidays have ended. But they came into power to enjoy the perks and not to work but to arrogantly parade all over the place because of their “Victory”

    The article said: But Hilaire noted that beyond that, Saint Lucia has a lot to offer.

    “This is not Saint Lucia. Saint Lucia is an extraordinarily beautiful place – very rich cultural heritage, fantastic creative expression and we have to sell that,” Hilaire.

    So what Hillaire: Thousands of destinations some just miles away from St. Lucia have the same. You CANNOT in your wildest dreams sell it if St. Lucia is considered to be a gun mad dangerous destination – no matter how much you spend on marketing. You clowns really cannot manage a kabaway in Soufriere.

    Google in overseas press the comments from persons who have visited and are aware of the recent murder of an Englishman and see below some of their statements staring out at you:

    “After numerous visits over the years, I find the MALEVOLENT NATURE of this island is only just under the surface of the population and it can erupt quickly. 68 deaths by shooting so far this year in a place the size of Jersey and Guernsey.”

    “A few years ago, we were shown round the island by a lovely taxi driver named Frank. Not long after, HE WAS SHOT IN HIS TAXI and nobody has been arrested for the crime.”

    “Not as welcoming an island as their tourist board want you to think, I know I’ve been but WOULD NOT GO BACK.”

    “St Lucia’s travel industry will suffer. No one wants to visit a place if they may either become the target of gunmen or become mixed up in a gun attack. The islands stunning but there’s always a feeling of UNDERLYING TENSION OF VIOLENCE.”

    “Been there, VERY SCARY PLACE if you leave the hotel.”

    I spent two hours in Soufriere on a holiday excursion. That was two hours too long
    Visited St Lucia and had bottles thrown at us when we visited a street party, not safe like Barbados.”

    “My parents bought a beautiful home in St Lucia 15 years ago, no sooner had it been built, they put it up for sale… for this very reason. It’s so sad this is happening more frequently and on a small island, you’d think they’d be able to control the violence.”

    “St Lucia should now be banned from ALL travel agencies holiday destinations and if anyone books a holiday there by any other means their ticket should read, YOUR LIFE WILL BE IN DANGER AT THIS DESTINATION. Pretty place but very dangerous.”

    “Visited St Lucia twice. Hotel was amazing and we had some fabulous experiences. However a notice at the local casino read “No guns allowed” okaaaay… We never did visit that casino. We were advised not to go out of the hotel grounds after dark. There were armed guards patrolling our hotel and at the entrance. When you went into the local town (Castries) during the day, THE AIE WAS FULL OF THE SMELL OF WEED and I didn’t feel safe. Beautiful island though.”

    2023 is going to be a bad year for St. Lucia. After the lull and merriment of Christmas the magnitude of the ineptitude of the St Lucia Cabinet is going to become more and more apparent. The reality is we still have 3 1/2 years of their greed and nonsense.

  11. @Guns in the Barrel or Lowgrade Lucian whoever you are, it just hit me today that the people we put to lead us don’t give a $hit to do a welfare check. This has nothing to do with race, im sure its not being done for other people either. The way you comment on here im sure you are Lucian Lowgrade. Keep taking your backsh0ts from your SLP overlord to come and talk $hit here.

  12. Well said we have over 80 percent of private sector workers earning 2 to 3 EC dollars an hour working 12 to 16 hour shifts without over time. The government refuse to enact a minimum wage… Secondary school education is so expensive health care is beyond the reach of over 80 percent of private sector workers.

  13. YOu’re dead wrong about your reasons for crime. St. Lucia has advanced tremendously in the past 50 years on the Human Development Index. Listen to stories from older folk to understand what poverty really is.

  14. #cunning..what does poverty have to do with gunning down 13 persons in a drive-by and doing a hit on someone in a bar…are you for real…nonsense

  15. #taino..very well put together the reality of what we’re confronted with..I think the fat lady have sang sadly 😥

  16. …..nobody put up their dukes anymore (hardly)…….drive by, robbery, or a hit. When last did you hear of a chopping not that we want to, but you get my point, fellows know you can get guns easy now so they have gotten brazen, and it will only get worse. It’s the influx of guns from North America and they don’t care if the guns are coming down and killing us as long as they are not coming in to cut their gun manufacture profit margin, they don’t care, we are on our own. The FBI did a study on gun violence in Jamaica a few years ago and it was discovered that sixty percent of the guns used to commit crime came out of South Florida, but now its Haiti by way of South Florida. Everybody here wants a gun these days, laziness, fear, supply, and demand and many are benefitting from it. You think Lazarus complaining about gun violence……he is rubbing his hands with glee business is up and laughing all the way to the bank.

  17. …and the benefit to the FBI/ CIA/Scotland Yard/ is?? We have oil? We have gold? We have terrorist training camps here? What benefit is it to America/ England to come and clean up our mess? Are you all thinking straight we are on our own, they will /or may provide some limited technical assistance as good will gesture but that’s it. Make tomorrow morning you hear someone board an aircraft with a firearm and it was found by the TSA and the flight originated from St Lucia the very next day FBI on the ground here to investigate and they would demand retraining; that just happen in Barbados. What’s coming in we care about what’s going out we don’t give two shit, unless it’s large amount of currency, or weapons on a flight or cruise ship, they can’t afford to look lapo.

  18. Criminality in government makes criminals emboldened….a fish rots from the head. You are no example… smile for the camera but underneath you are a wicked vindictive jealous little boy. When the government starts to treat people with respect, be fair and stop being only for the elite then theiy csn come and talk yall too damm bias and like to use poor people to get what yall want and for fff to benefit. All this frustration where some would face jail if they had defrauded or even attempt to defraud someone as you did leads to a criminal society. When ministers like yourself are above the law a criminal society emerges. When people are hungry whilst the lazy leeches wives and jabals stuff their gluttonous faces crime escalates. Shut up hypocrite


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