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Modern day slavery in Canouan


Fri Oct 31, 2014

Editor: I am writing you to let you know of some of the things affecting security on this little island of Canouan. First of all, early this year our security manager was relieved of his duties. He and another individual were charged for removing the dead body of a construction worker, who died after falling from a truck. They removed the body even before the police or doctor arrived. Then, several months later, after all the police officers at the Canouan Police Station were charged, that said security manager returned.{{more}} His return brought woes on the department, beginning with the removal of the four days which helped officers to go home to St Vincent to be with their loved ones.

Secondly, officers are refused unpaid leave. The working conditions in certain areas are unhealthy and unsanitary. The quarry, for instance, where the security booth is, is surrounded by water when rain falls. Asked to have it moved, all said was: “we’re looking into it.” For months now that’s the motto. Whenever these conditions are reported it’s ignored.

There is no union to defend officers and as a result, they are stuck with whatever treatment is handed out to them.

During the interview they assure you that you’ll get time to go home to be with your families, but only to find out when you get here, it’s modern day slavery in the worst way. It has caused a lot of destruction to families, even in a case where an officer got so frustrated that after learning of infidelity, he went off, claiming he was sick, and committed murder.

Something has to be done to stop these Italians from believing they own Canouan and the people. And stop treating the workers like slaves.

My question is, “does it have to lead to bloodshed and mass murder for the relevant authorities to look into this issue?”

A concerned worker