BASSE-TERRE – Rising crime in the French overseas department of Guadeloupe has prompted France to send in police reinforcement.
Their arrival had been announced by the Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve and the 70 police officers reached the Caribbean island over the weekend, according to Dominica News Online.
They are being mainly stationed in Pointe-à-Pitre, Abymes and Baie-Mahault.
There had been media reports linking the development to the murder of Guadeloupe national Yohann Equinoxe by a 15-year-old Dominican in Abymes last Tuesday. Equinoxe was reportedly stabbed several times by the teen who tried to steal his phone.
However, journalist Clayton Florent told Dominica News Online that the arrival of the French troops was a response to overall violence in the country.
“The authorities are concerned. The authorities have made requests to the Interior Minister in France to do something concerning the rise of criminal violence in Guadeloupe. A number of persons have been robbed, there has been a lot of persons who have been shot, and the President of the General Council made an appeal to the authorities in France and the authorities decided to send gendarmes to Guadeloupe,” he explained.
Following Equinoxe’s killing, there were reports of tension between nationals of Guadeloupe and Dominica in the French Caribbean island.
According to Dominica News Online, a video had surfaced on social media showing what appeared to be a man from Guadeloupe purportedly threatening violence against Dominicans and, soon after that, there was another video posted with people who were reportedly Dominicans responding and referring to the deceased Equinoxe disparagingly.