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St. Lucia: Mayor retracts controversial Africa statement

Castries Mayor, Peterson Francis, has retracted a statement he made here last week, in which he asserted that a documentary on crime in Saint Lucia evoked images of one of the African countries where people are being slaughtered on the street.

““You swear that you were in one of these African countries where people are being slaughtered on the road,”  Francis had said about the production, which he blamed for a slowdown in Martinique visitors to Saint Lucia.

His remarks,  which were reported by St Lucia Times, attracted several critical comments.

“I am in an African country and no one is being murdered on the streets. These statements are irresponsible and are not well founded. In addition, officials must not make reference to other countries when discussing such sensitive issues as crime and violence…...,” Wilson Jn Baptiste wrote in response to the Mayor’s remarks.

BlackShade said: “Couldn’t agree with you more. That is what American TV has etched into our collective memory. That African countries are all poor, backward, uncivilized and lawless. Most of these ignorant Americans are of the view that Africa is even one Country. ...”

A  biting criticism of the Mayor was posted by Vibz, who added  “….. How can you be upset with the portrayal of St. Lucia as a crime infested place on television in Martinique while casting similar aspersions on our ancestral homeland? Africa has its problems but there are countries and places in Africa a million times more developed and much better governed than many places in the Caribbean including St. Lucia….”

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