Attorney at Law, Mary Francis, has urged a speedy resolution to the IMPACS matter, although she feels that the integrity of the process has been eroded.
“Too many different people have become involved and the whole process to me should not have gone the way it did,” Francis told the Times.
According to her, something is holding back the process.
“Whether it is the characters behind the scenes involved, whether they are supposed to shield certain people – the politicians or whoever and the whole possibility that bringing the matter before the court might implicate certain people – I do not know; but we need to know,” the Attorney at Law stated.
She expressed the view that there is something that Saint Lucians are not being told.
Francis is the Coordinator of the National Centre for Legal Aid and Human Rights.
She noted that at the end of a meeting here with on Tuesday between Ambassadors of EU countries and local officials, including Prime Minister Allen Chastanet, an EU spokesperson expressed confidence that the recommendations relating to the IMPACS report are being followed.
“We are left in the dark in Saint Lucia,” Francis told the Times.
She declared that the pace of justice in the twelve fatal police shootings between 2011 and 2012 that resulted in the IMPACS investigation is too slow.
The damning report prepared by Jamaican investigators said among other things that that local law enforcers staged encounters and planted weapons.
Excerpts of the report were read on national television by then Prime Minister, Doctor Kenny Anthony, in March 2015.
While admitting that the matter was a sensitive one, Mary Francis said that the relatives of those who were killed by the police need closure.
She acknowledged Saint Lucia’s dependence on European countries.
But she expressed concern that EU representatives could come to Saint Lucia and speak with ‘authority’ and ask authorities here to be accountable.
“I as a Saint Lucian, a proud nationalistic person – it’s an embarrassment,” Francis told the Times.
She said the situation smacked of a colonial relationship.
“Shame alone should cause us to rise up and say ‘This thing has to be resolved once and for all’ ” the outspoken Human Rights Activist declared.
“This is almost like musical chairs. I mean if this were not such a serious issue I would have a good laugh. One time you have the Americans, next you have the Europeans, one time you have a DPP; now you have a new DPP; you had the last administration; now you have a new administration – Oh my God, this thing has got to stop,” Francis stated.
She told the Times that the family members of the persons killed by the police need justice.