Saint Lucia’s Consul General in Martinique, Johanna Salton, has asserted that there is a ‘common misconception’ that Saint Lucians are the ones responsible for a lot of the crimes in Martinique.
Salton told St Lucia Times in a telephone interview from the French overseas territory that “the onus is now on us to sensetise the public and to show that the majority of Saint Lucians who live in Martinique are responsible citizens.”
“That is something that the consulate will undertake in 2019 – it’s a progamme which we definitely have to do to try to change the perception of the French here,” she said.
Salton revealed that a large number of Saint Lucians, between 5,000 and 10,000 reside in Martinique.
“I would say 97 percent of them are legal and by legal I mean that they are married to Martiniquans. They work; they contribute to the system; they have a family and they obey the law,” she observed.
“Unfortunately what has been happening is that this tiny percentage – those Saint Lucians who come across or who live here and are committing the crimes, they are the ones that people talk about,” Salton explained.
The Saint Lucia diplomat said the actions of the few Saint Lucians who engage in criminal activity in Martinique do not give a true picture of their countrymen who reside there.
She asserted that the majority of Saint Lucians in Martinique do not give problems.
“But as it goes, people will talk about what is bad, not what is good,” Salton observed.
She pointed out that most of the crime in Martinique is committed by Martiniquans.
“That’s a fact that I have gotten from officials,” Salton told St Lucia Times.
“The violent crimes which the Saint Lucians do commit here, they are assisted by Martiniquans, so I think it is something that both sides need to discuss and talk about,” she stated.
“It is a problem for both countries and definitely we will have to look at it in 2019,” the Saint Lucia Consul stated.