Tuesday, May 17

In Guadeloupe, “planned and organized” urban violence

The violence that has shaken Guadeloupe for nearly three months, against a background of contestation of the vaccination obligation, was “perfectly planned and organized”, with in particular the “active involvement” of a police officer, accused Friday the district Attorney.

A judicial inquiry was opened, entrusted to two investigating judges, and eight people, arrested on Monday, were indicted after 96 hours in police custody. Four were remanded in custody.

“No scene of violence” including the most recent “has been spontaneous” insisted prosecutor Patrick Desjardins. “In the surveillance that was put in place”, following the first riots in November, “we understood that it was a question of a sharing of roles between young people”, in particular gangs from Baie-Mahault, Pointe- at-Pitre and Grand-Camp (at Abymes, editor’s note).

After a night of riots, at the end of November, punctuated by shootings against the police and where the SPIP (penitentiary service of insertion and probation) was set on fire, “the investigations intensified”, held “in the biggest secret”.

Because appeared, according to the prosecution, “the complicity, even the active involvement of a police officer”, now placed under a warrant of deposit.

“We are on treason,” said the prosecutor. “We know that he was at the origin of many operations, that against the SPIP but also that which was planned for December 30 last”.

That day, the demonstration of the collective of organizations mobilized against the vaccination obligation was to arrive at the airport, “with a determined operating mode between the demonstrators and the gang members, who were to occupy the runways with stolen vehicles” and set on fire.

Clashes took place between the demonstrators and the police. The union leader Elie Domota had been arrested, then released in the evening.

In addition, the sub-prefecture of Pointe-à-Pitre was one of the next targets, according to the investigation.

“In the minds of those involved the purpose of these riots was clear” explained the prosecutor. If the “ideological battle” and the vaccination obligation as well as the question of youth, remain in the background, “what is certain is a clear desire for enrichment”.

According to the investigation, the aim was to obtain “substantial sums from large groups in exchange for the promise not to launch the rioters against their interests”. This explains the absence of attacks on the major shopping centers on the island.

On the other hand, said Mr. Desjardins, the goal was to “benefit from subsidies through associations usefully created in favor of future negotiations with the State, but also in favor of sometimes troubled relations with certain local elected officials”, via, “significant pressure”.

At this stage of the investigation, 8 people have been indicted, in particular on the charge of “criminal association with a view to committing crimes and offenses in an organized gang”.

Reacting to these indictments, the deputy Olivier Sevra indicated that he had met certain young people “as part of the negotiations to end the crisis” and now placed in police custody or in preventive detention.

He calls for “impartial justice not neglecting their role in this process of appeasement and taking into account their desire to reintegrate”.

Throughout the day, in front of the court, a hundred people, including local trade union leaders, were present “in support” of those referred.


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