Barbados Today:-United Progressive Party (UPP) leader Lynette Eastmond has charged that some politicians are protecting people involved in crime, making them untouchable.
And she has called on Barbadians to reject that kind of behaviour and to take a stand against the criminal elements in society.
“Apparently, it seems to be an open secret in Barbados now that there are some people who can commit crimes and never spend a day in jail. But someone with a five bag of weed could get thrown into jail,” she charged at a political meeting in St Barnabas, St Michael last night.
“There are some of us who never cared about injustice in Barbados once it did not affect us and once it did not affect our family. We did not care that a telephone call could be made and a police officer could be told, ‘you see that man that you just pick up across the block, go and put him exactly on the block where you took him from’. That kind of thing happens in Barbados.”
While not pointing fingers in any specific direction, the UPP leader, who served as Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs in former Prime Minister Owen Arthur’s Barbados Labour Party (BLP) administration, suggested that corruption was common even during the BLP reign.
She further suggested that Customs officers were also prevented from doing their jobs properly as she contended that “there are people in Barbados trying to do their job, ready to burst open a container and someone calls and says, ‘do not touch it’.
“This did not start happening last year or year before. It did not start happening in 2008. It was happening before . . . .I am here exposing myself physically because you can get shot these days, but I love my country and I like the people in this country. Barbados is one of the best places in the world in which we live and we are going to allow a few bandits to destroy it? People of Barbados you have to rise up and say ‘no,’” Eastmond said.
She charged that the crime situation in the country was such that innocent people who were not involved in crime could easily lose their lives.
The UPP leader pointed to the shooting death of 58-year-old Colleen Beresdean Payne as she used an automated banking machine in Black Rock, St Michael last month, as an example.
She charged that every Barbadian had to take responsibility for Payne’s death.
“All of us who know better, all of us who can do better, all of us have blood on our hands . . . .You have a choice to make between political parties who support and facilitate corruption in Barbados which results in ordinary people getting killed and you have a choice of doing something different with your life,” Eastmond contended.
She told the small audience that with general elections around the corner, voters would have an opportunity to tell candidates they would not get their vote unless they were committed to changing the current situation.