Tag Archives: Tourist murder

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! Continue reading

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law

Idiocy at The Barbados Advocate: Murderous 25 year old career criminal described as “Youth”

Headline: “Youth jailed for 10 years for killing visitor”

When Curtis Joel Foster chased down Canadian tourist Teresa “Terry” Schwarzfeld at Long Beach last year and beat her to death he was 24 years old and in the middle of a one man violent crime wave that had been going on at Long Beach for over a year. Foster committed multiple robberies, thefts, assaults and is or was charged with at least one rape of a tourist.

Foster is not a “youth” by any stretch of imagination, but that’s how the Barbados Advocate described him in their headline.

Was the paper trying to mitigate the public disgust at the light 10 year sentence by indicating that Foster is a “youth” and therefore somehow less responsible for his actions?

This is not the first time we’ve seen the term “youth” misapplied by the Barbados Advocate to describe adult men in their mid-20’s who commit violent crimes. We’ve noticed that the paper habitually refers to adult criminals as “youths” even if they are talking about a gang of not-quite 30-year-old thugs hanging out at the T.

Is it that “youths” are somehow less threatening to our image?

Words matter, so we’re calling the Barbados Advocate out for their idiocy… or their propaganda.

What do you think folks? Have you noticed this trend by the paper? Why do the people at the Barbados Advocate continue to describe 24 year old adult males as “youths”?

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Filed under Barbados, Crime & Law, Culture & Race Issues, News Media, Police