Castries Mayor, Peterson Francis, has expressed concern about what he says is a slowdown of visitors from Martinique, apparently linked to the production of a crime documentary on Saint Lucia.
The Mayor, who recently visited Martinique, told reporters earlier this week that two Castries Constituency Council (CCC) Councillors saw the crime documentary on Martinique television.
He recalled that the production basically asserted that people are being slaughtered on the streets of this country.
Francis said he immediately called Saint Lucia’s representative in Martinique to arrange a meeting with the producers of the documentary.
He explained that the producers responded favourably and the meeting, which included a representative of the Saint Lucia Tourism Authority (SLA), took place.
According to Francis, the young lady who produced the work explained that she had spoken with the Minister of National Security, the Police Commissioner and the Director of the Forensic Laboratory here before producing the television piece.
However, the Mayor said the production was ‘disturbing’.
“You swear that you were in one of these African countries where people are being slaughtered on the road.”
Francis told reporters that assurances were given that the producers would visit this country to make sure that “what they got basically, is not that.”
He said that although the producers were unaware, he explained to the them that the cruise ship sector here had a very good year.
“I said: ‘Did you all speak to the Mayor when you all were down here?’ No! So they said they will come down to Saint Lucia – they did not come for Carnival, but anytime after Carnival they will come down to try to correct that situation.”
Councillor, Felix Deterville, said the local delegation received a warm welcome in Martinique.
He explained that he saw the television report one morning with a clip asserting that Saint Lucia has become one of the most violent places in the Caribbean and every day people are being slaughtered on the roads.
Deterville said he concluded that the report pertained not to the Saint Lucia that is Martinique’s neighbour, but a Saint Lucia that is somewhere in Africa.
But he explained that he later saw some Saint Lucians whom he knows being interviewed.
The Councillor disclosed that he brought the matter to the attention of the Mayor.
“People are literally damaging Saint Lucia,” Deterville exclaimed.
He stated nevertheless that the damage control has since been done.