GOV. STILL WORKING ON GETTING LEAHY LAW LIFTED

Prime Minister Allen Chastanet says his government has been in dialogue with United States officials about reversing its decision to apply the Leahy Law on St. Lucia.

In 2013, St. Lucia was restricted by the terms of what is commonly referred to as the “Leahy Law” from receiving security-related assistance from the United States as a result of alleged gross human rights violations.

A number of alleged extrajudicial killings were carried out in 2010-2011 by members of the Royal St. Lucia Police during a police operation dubbed “Operation Restore Confidence”

The US State Department not only suspended assistance to the local police force but cancelled the visas of a number of senior police officers, denying them travel to the US.

Saint Lucia joined the likes of Bangladesh, Bolivia, Colombia, Guatemala, Mexico, Nigeria, Turkey, Indonesia and Lebanon, all of which have been denied assistance by the US under the Leahy Amendment to the Foreign Assistance Act.

 The lack of training assistance to the RSLPF from the U.S has tremendously affected its operations.

During his recent meeting with President Donald Trump, Prime Minister Chastanet says while the Leahy Law sanctions were not discussed, the government has been in dialogue with other agencies to resolve the matter.

Human rights advocate and attorney at law Mr Martinus Francois however says it is not as easy as the Prime Minster makes it out to be.

The US has repeatedly said it would not lift the sanctions unless those found guilty of the alleged violations were made to account

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