Barbados Government Continues Cover-up In Archcot Building Collapse Deaths – Five Killed and No Inquest!

Updated August 26, 2010 – 3rd anniversary of five preventable deaths

This article was first published on August 8, 2009. Every once in a while we bring important articles to the top of the blog again because, unlike the Barbados news media, we at BFP don’t keep silent about wrongdoing to keep those guvm’nt advertising dollars rolling in. We’ll leave the article here for a day or two to once again remind folks that when a whole family of ordinary nobodies dies because of criminal acts – it counts for nothing if some of the protected elites are involved.


Freundel Stuart Coverup

Home Affairs Minister Freundel Stuart continues cover-up of Codrington family deaths

“Government will be demolishing three properties at Archcot Terrace Britton’s Hill St Michael, as it moves to get the area to return to normalcy. This is in the wake of the collapse of apartment buildings there in August 2007.

Home Affairs Minister, Freundel Stuart says five properties will be acquired by government including those to be demolished and two that housed the collapsed apartment buildings.

His remarks came Friday morning in a ministerial statement to Parliament on the matter, noting that Cabinet met early last month and has agreed on the way forward for the area…”

…from a CBC News article that never once mentions the fact that five people died: – Archcot study

CBC article “disappears” five deaths – Codrington family not mentioned by CBC!

A sleeping family of five died in August of 2007 because somebody built a house over a known cave at Archcot Terrace Britton’s Hill St Michael, Barbados. The land had a prohibition on title to prevent just such an occurrence, but somebody removed that prohibition on the title. Somebody built a house on top of the cave for profit and never lived in the house themselves. Somebody owned the company that built the house. Somebody issued a building permit or maybe somebody built without a permit.

Then when cracks appeared in later years – probably aggravated by nearby construction – somebody issued a stop-work order. Then, four days later somebody removed that stop-work order and the construction continued. Somebody or many somebodies killed the Codrington family just as surely as if they had put a gun to the heads of the sleeping children and pulled the trigger.

Government & News Media Refuse to Name the Names

Many of the “somebody” people involved in one way or another with the deaths of five members of the Codrington are prominent people in Barbados politics and business – at least according to rumours and the little bit that has appeared in the media.

One thing is very sure though: two successive governments blocked a public Coroner’s inquest and did everything they could to make this story disappear. That cover-up continues to this day as the surviving family members are ignored by government and the news media in their quest for answers and justice.

According to a family member, the date of death on the certificate for Donavere Codrington is dated August 28, 2007 – two days after the collapse. According to that same family member, police and politicians were seen drinking beer at the “rescue” scene. According to Professor Hans G. Machel, the victims may have been killed by wrong decisions, actions and inaction by Barbados emergency officials.

Had these deaths occurred in New Jersey, London, Montreal, Paris or Tokyo – a Coroner’s inquest would have been conducted according to the Rule of Law.

Here in Barbados?

The rule of law is whatever the ruling government and elites say it is – and if five people died because of the actions or inactions of members of the political or business elites, their lives and deaths are worth nothing.


Successive Barbados governments have made it clear. The deaths of ordinary people like the Codrington family are not worth a public Coroner’s Inquest if high-profile business people or politicians might be at fault.

Further Reading

Expert: Arch Cot Cave-In Victims May Have Been Killed By Wrong Decisions, Actions and Inaction By Barbados Emergency Officials

Barbados Cave-In Deaths: Codrington Family Cries Out – Wants Justice, Not Cover-Up

Major Article by Professor Hans G. Machel & Richard Goddard


August 8, 2009 Barbados Advocate article – Freundel Stuart

Cover-up continues - click for 144kb jpg

Cover-up continues - click for 144kb jpg


Filed under Barbados, Building Collapse, Disaster, Political Corruption, Politics, Politics & Corruption

23 responses to “Barbados Government Continues Cover-up In Archcot Building Collapse Deaths – Five Killed and No Inquest!

  1. Red Lake Lassie

    All too true BFP. We won’t see a public inquest, only dribs and drabs of information as the government pleases.

  2. Hants

    BFP wrote”Had these deaths occurred in New Jersey, London, Montreal, Paris or Tokyo – a Coroner’s inquest would have been conducted according to the Rule of Law.”

    You forgot to mention numerous lawsuits that would make the surviving family members rich.

    Anyhow don’t wait for a coroner’s inquest to tell you that your house may be on top of a “dangerous cave”.
    Get your property checked.

  3. Hants

    wha I do now BFP? moderation?

  4. Classic Fac

    Five dead and no inquest?

  5. blighty

    How is it possible that five people died and there was no inquest? This cannot possibly be true.

  6. Jason

    Welcome to Bim!

  7. cutter

    Thank you to BFP for keeping the memory of Donavere and his family.

  8. BFP

    I woke up. I approved your comment. Doan’t know why de computer grab it.


  9. RRRicky

    I echo the others: No Inquest?

    WTF? Five dead, a deed that prohibits building a home and then doesn’t prohibit building a home and NO INQUEST?

    WTF??? !!!

  10. Trudatz

    Come on now BFP…I watched the CBC Evening news the same night that story was first aired and the lead paragraph mentioned the family of five who perished. Please be fair.
    As for your call for an inquest I agree that it is long overdue.

  11. Chicago

    Nothing to see here Ricky. Move along, move along.

    “Could have happened to anybody” is what the Minister said.

    With no building code laws in Barbados, the Minister was correct.

  12. BFP

    We weren’t talking about the CBC evening news. We were talking about the news article that is still posted on the web. And we don’t hear anyone in the media or politics calling for an inquest. With the exception of one article written by the professor Machel, can you find one time the news media or government member or opposition member has called for an inquest?

    The news media is doing as they are told and keeping silent.

  13. Hants

    BFP you are wrong. The News media in Barbados does not have to be told what not to print.

    They do their own censorship based on ingrained media culture and a legal department.

    They have to keep their places at the “table”.

    Before BFP there was a newspaper called “The Truth”.That is as close to “investigative journalism” we ever had.

    I hope the family left from this tragedy are well compensated and taken care of.
    That is of primary importance. This family deserves a good quality of life that will help ease their painfull loss.

  14. kiki

    For reference

    Crime – Organised -Institutionalised – Corruption – Fraud – Protection Rackets, run and managed by judicial chair occupants, in a free-for-all state of abundance. Note the all-embracing guarantee, in place, in contempt of all law:
    WHERE IS JUSTICE? Read >>> “The court has inherent jurisdiction to stay an action which must fail; as, for instance an action brought in respect of an act of State”

  15. flyin' fish fan

    Is Barbados a big banana producer? Because it sounds like a banana republic.

  16. Pingback: Global Voices Online » Barbados: Call for Inquest

  17. Johnny Postle

    Good to bring up back up BFP but it ain’t gine no where. The inquest is as dead as that poor family, sorry to say. Under BLP or DLP it makes no difference.

  18. Inquest? Ain’t gonna happen. They’re hoping people will forget in time. After all, there is unsolved crime, corruption to be ignored etc.
    Keep the story alive BFP

  19. reality check

    Meanwhile back at the Parliament, Freundel has his back benchers spellbound with his snappy dress and incredible speech.

    Makes me want to take a nap.

  20. Pingback: Coroner should hold inquest into Queen Elizabeth Hospital death: Was it suicide? Patient confusion? Negligence? « Barbados Free Press

  21. Robert Deshappé

    I agree that there should be an inquest, however, I do not think that it is fair that those YOUNG and STRONG persons (some of whom have businesses) who were relocated from Brittons Hill to the Vauxhall Senior Citizens’ Home, continue to live there and have access to the amenities FREE OF COST for the past three years, while the senior citizens who reside there have to PAY for their accommodations and the associated facilities. This situation also needs looking at. It is time enough that these young people seek to find their own homes.

  22. 205

    Give it a rest! -so shit happened…as usual.
    Nothing was even vaguely pre-meditated
    and the DPP knows full well he doesn’t have a case worth wasting his time on.
    Leacock is not a dummy.

    End of story.

  23. Anonymous

    If it was ur family wold you be saying the same thing u are an insensitive idiot