Canadian tourist murdered in St. Lucia beach robbery

UPDATED: Sunday November 25, 2012 11:35am Bridgetown

St. Lucia Police arrest suspect

Sun News: Police arrest man in connection with killing of Canadian in St. Lucia

Colin Peter

Island and Canadian news media provide major coverage

St. Lucian Government, Police, Tourism representatives & citizens express horror and condolences

An elderly Canadian tourist injured in a daylight St. Lucian beach robbery has died. Colin Peter, 75, of Prince Edward Island, Canada, was attacked on November 16, 2012 while walking with his wife at Vigie Beach. Mr. Peter was beaten about the head with a piece of wood and robbed of his wallet, camera and other valuables. He died on November 19, 2012 in St. Lucia’s Victoria hospital as preparations were being made to fly him back to Canada. (The Guardian: P.E.I. man dies of injuries sustained in attack in St. Lucia)

“There aren’t words to express the outrage felt by the government over this incident,”

… Lorne Theophilus, Minister of Tourism, St. Lucia

Two island tourist murders: two different responses

The circumstances of the robbery in St. Lucia are very similar to the 2009 fatal attack at Long Beach, Barbados when Canadians Terry Schwarzfeld and daughter Lauana Cotsman were beaten with a piece of wood and robbed by serial rapist / robber Curtis Joel Foster. Mrs. Schwarzfeld died in a Canadian hospital after an emergency medical flight home. Killer Foster is currently serving 15 years after pleading guilty to manslaughter.

We at BFP cannot help but comment upon the different government, police, and news media responses to a tourist murder in the two island nations. It may be that St. Lucian authorities have learned from the shameful public relations disaster of the Barbados government in 2009, but so far St. Lucia is providing a model response that will go a long way to reassure prospective visitors.

In contrast to the Barbados news media’s silence and cover-up over the Schwarzfeld attack, the St. Lucian print and electronic news media gave full and immediate coverage to the initial robbery upon Mr. Peter and his later death. Government authorities including the Prime Minister, Tourism Minister, Police Commissioner and the VP of St. Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association expressed horror, concern and a desire for St. Lucia to assist the Peter family.

The St. Lucian authorities declared an all out effort to find and arrest the culprits, and to see if any preventative measures would have helped. Police Commissioner Vernon Francois also engaged in some self-criticism of the police when he talked with the news media about the low levels of police patrols on the beaches and the discontinuance of the Beach Ranger patrols some years ago for budgetary reasons.

St. Lucia responded to a tourist murder in a way that the world is bound to perceive as honest, sincere and human – and without a trace of a cover-up.

The story of the tourist robbery and then Mr. Peter’s death continues to receive major coverage in St. Lucia – and that means that St. Lucia cares. During the time following the 2009 Barbados robbery, the Canadian news media were outraged that Barbados news outlets covered up the attack.

The Ottawa Citizen had as a headline: “Bajan Media Ignores Attack On Women. Feisty Barbados Free Press Only Outlet To Speak Out For Schwarzfeld”. What a public relations disaster thanks to the Barbados government and our island news media!

Dale Marshall

“Too little, too late” seemed to be the Barbados government’s motto during the Terry Schwarzfeld situation – and then when Canadians expressed the opinion that Schwarzfeld’s killer was given a slap on the wrist with only a ten year sentence, former Barbados Attorney General Dale Marshall sounded like a heartless idiot when he effectively told off Canadians saying it was none of their business how we punished Schwarzfeld’s killer!

“What we have to do, from the very beginning, is respect other people’s judicial system,”

“The country has had incidents like this before, and our tourism product has withstood them. Besides, when a judge makes a decision, Barbados’ tourism product is completely extraneous to that decision…”

Former Barbados Attorney General (and moron) Dale Marshall gave a lesson to Canadians as he talked about foreign criticism surrounding the sentencing of a Terry Schwarzfeld’s killer.

How’s that for stupid?

Murdered Canadian tourist Terry Schwarzfeld

Popular online Barbados news outlet calls Murdered Canadian tourist “White Trash”

And then there was what has to be the foulest response by Barbadians to the 2009 murder of Canadian tourist Terry Schwarzfeld. The Barbados Underground online news outlet published comments describing Mrs. Schwarzfeld as “White trash”. Those “White trash” comments are still online at Barbados Underground.

Other posts call for blacks to remain racially pure and to not have children with other races or lighter skinned persons of African heritage. Some posts encourage violence against whites, Chinese, Guyanese of Indian descent, and other non-Blacks – including mixed-race Bajans whose skin is not sufficiently dark enough for Barbados Underground’s commenters.

Such talk never seemed to bother either the DLP Government or Prime Minister Thompson’s most senior advisor, Harley Henry, who nonetheless continued to publish articles at Barbados Underground.

The vast majority of Bajans and St. Lucians are saddened and outraged by the deaths of Colin Peter and Terry Schwarzfeld. The differing responses by the governments and news media of the two island nations is telling. We Bajans hope such a thing never again happens, but if a serious crime happens against a tourist again, we hope that the Barbados government pays attention to the leadership shown by the St. Lucian government and authorities.

14 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law

14 responses to “Canadian tourist murdered in St. Lucia beach robbery

  1. Jrjrjrjr

    Barbados has gone downhill in the last 30 years of my holidaying there. This attitude of White trash is scary and unnecessary . Why can’t we leave the past behind and live in harmony

  2. 136

    Why is it that Barbados ” Police and Government ” like to keep stuff from the News and public, I am sure that the public would be only too willing to help find these folks, but they also need to be delt with in a more serious manner.

    It does not matter if we are dealing with White Trash or Blacks, the only savior for our Country is Tourism and it is the “White Trash” that is bringing in the money to our shores.

    We have killed Manufacturing, Sugar and now the only thing we have a chance at brining in foreign exchange is TOURISM.

    We need people with Balls to run this Country. We need to restore the confidence in Tourist so they will be back. B nor D don’t show any signs of doing this.

  3. Adrian Loveridge

    First my deepest sympathies to the Green family.

    When unfortunate things like this happen, I think its very important that ‘we’ deal with the problem and be seen to have dealt with it.

    I also think its important to establish the truth.

    PRIOR to the attack of Terry Schwarzfeld and her daughter-in-law, there had been a number of other violent incidents in the Long Beach, Inch Marlow and Silver Sands area. I had written, emailed and faxed the Commissioner of Police several times expressing concern and literally begging for an increased police presence in the area. Not a single communication was responded to prior to the vicious attack of Ms. Schwarzfeld.

    The COP did however visit our hotel after the event.

    NINE days AFTER the attack, the local MP and Minister of Tourism visited Long Beach and a front page photograph of them appeared in one of the local papers.

    For that nine days, even though Terry was not staying with us, I personally visited several points on and overlooking Long Beach three or four times at day.

    My brother, staying with us at the time spent hours DAILY on the beach taking photographs in the hope that some evidence would be found.

    During that 9 days, neither of us saw any evidence of an increased Police presence.

    Later, the MP for the area visited our property and we discussed improved security, police patrols, lighting etc.

    That and once at the Waterfront Cafe is the ONLY time I have seen this MP in 4 years and 10 months.

    To the best of my knowledge none what was discussed was implemented.

    Our tourism industry is already in a critically precarious state, having lost over 50,000 long stay visitors over the last four years, when compared with the previous four years.

    The Holetown rapes and massive media attention in the UK should be a wake-up call to our policymakers.
    We cannot continue to appear indifferent.

  4. repeat visitor

    This is all pretty depressing and sad. From the Canadian viewpoint there is just a deafening silence on all that’s good— and bad– about Barbados, so it’s off the radar at the moment (for tourism, that can’t be great). a large story in a national newspaper touted the attractions of Grenada- and i noticed the Grenada tourism association had brought the journalist there…

  5. yatiniteasy

    The truth is ..they don`t care! They are in their jobs to attend parties and functions, to travel, to ride around in big cars, and to fill their pockets with “commissions” for projects awarded…sometimes without submitting to the Tender process.

  6. ComeHere

    The downward spiral of Barbados’ image is now at hurricane force velocity. From scams such as 4 Seasons/Clico,_____(insert your own favourite here) driving away investors, to the noise pollution and third world garbage issues (see Carl Moore’s article in today’s Nation), to the inept Keystones Cop approach to crime solving, why on earth would we expect to attract a sustainable tourist base?

    Rihanna’s campaign screams WRONG DEMOGRAPHIC yet our BTA Chairman Peacock with his frilly pocket square posing is flushing scarce ad dollars down the drain. Rape victims publicly declaring that an innocent man is being detained? Do we grasp the world wide impact of this swept under the carpet negative publicity?

  7. Do u really think bims police are really interested in real CSI style detective work wen its easier to grab the closest repeat offender, torture him and get a confession, case closed. Kudos to the victims for their courage in not going along with bims brand of police work and not showing any vindictiveness toward the accused. Its a disgrace and makes a person, whether tourist or local, really scared. Just imagine wat local rape victims, regardless of age have to endure wen brutally attacked and then have to face this incompetent system of policing. Rape and the harassing and stalking of victims is a spectator sport in b’dos and the caribbean, with no recourse for the victims, since there is no compassion. LOST SOULS.

  8. an observer

    You see, tourism is truly a double edged sword, especially in developing countries. While it brings in much needed revenue, it also creates a situation of “the haves and the have nots”. Full scale tourism has destroyed the Caribbean.

  9. They were warned back in the 70s that tourism would destroy the fabric of society if dilihgence and common sense was not used, well we now know what happened. Greed was a powerful motivator.

  10. Pingback: Semiliterate hate-mongering gobshite “David”, father of the Barbados “Underground Family”, resurrects semiliterate hate-mongering racist gobshite Zombie Negroman. World stunned, taken aback, gasps, vows to listen to Kammie from now on, get Faceboo

  11. Pingback: Semiliterate hate-mongering gobshite “David”, father of the Barbados “Underground Family”, resurrects semiliterate hate-mongering racist gobshite Zombie Negroman. World stunned, taken aback, gasps, vows to listen to Kammie from now on, get Faceboo

  12. Eric Smith

    I visited Barbados in 2010 with my wife and we had a wonderful time. I never felt unsafe at any time. I stayed in the Payne’s Bay area and found Bajans to be perfectly nice people. I’m surprised such crimes happen to tourists in Barbados.

  13. LOOK

    Never stepped down on Barbados soil. I’m sure I won’t, EVER!!! Can’t Can’t trust lawyers there, not even those listed [United States Embassy], Bridgetown, Barbados. That Jamaican woman [Shanique Myrie] was police raped. Can’t trust the police and or the police commission either [Darwin Dottin]. LOL

  14. Peter Quinlan

    It’s reasons like this why Canadian Tourism numbers are down year after year. Barbados unfortunately is not deemed as the safe haven it once was. Police HAVE to step up their presence, especially in the high tourist areas such as The Gap, where drug dealing is blatantly done out in the open. If I wanted to visit Jamaica (with its drug culture) I would. I hope Barbados isn’t going the way of Jamaica.