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(SNO) — Security Minister Senator Hermangild Francis has confirmed that police officers accused of extrajudicial killings during the 2010/2011 Operation Restore Confidence (ORC) will be prosecuted.
The now-notorious operation was held to contain a crime wave and was led by the Royal Saint Lucia Police Force.
Following the operation, members of the force were accused of extrajudicial killings and the United States imposed the Leahy Law on the island. The law isolates foreign security agencies accused of human rights abuses from receiving US-sponsored military assistance.
Francis said the decision was made after he spoke with the United States Undersecretary of Defense and brought up the constraint the Leahy Law had on St. Lucia.
Below, photos of an operation in ORC in 2011. * DBS screenshot images
“I told him everything that the government has done so far to show that we are serious about dealing with those matters,” he told News4orce. “And what I gathered was that the only thing that is going to suffice is that we have prosecution.”
He said the government is now working in dealing with prosecutions in the matter.
The security minister blamed locals for the imposition of the Leahy Law by the US.
“The Americans were not the ones who came here to find any fact-finding mission or so on,” he stated. “It is us, St. Lucians who actually called and gave information to the American State Department about what was happening, accusing certain ministers of government involving with criminals and police in that whole situation. So, we are the ones who actually put ourselves in that situation, and so we have to work extremely hard to get out of that situation.”
Eleven criminal suspects were allegedly killed by the police during Operation Restore Confidence.