The facts are frequent and regular. The three homicides of June 12 and 16 bring to sixteen the number of people killed in Martinique since the start of 2023, including eleven by firearms. In Guadeloupe, during the night of June 17 to 18, a shooting left at least one dead and four injured during a private party, in addition to a series of stabbings during the same weekend. In the two West Indian departments, the local authorities are responsible an upsurge in the presence of arms. Some 87 weapons have been seized since the beginning of the year in Martinique, and around 200 in Guadeloupe. This figure is close to the total number of weapons recovered throughout 2022 (259 weapons) during searches, roadside checks or various arrests.
“In Guadeloupe, weapons often enter through clandestine trafficking from Dominica, via all the landing sitesanalyzes the Attorney General of Guadeloupe, Eric Maurel. A second source, a little less obvious, is the Haitian sector. » For the magistrate, the appetite for arms on these island territories also testifies to American influence.
In addition to the emotion caused within the population, this succession of violent crimes has raised the stakes of many elected officials from the two territories. “The circulation of weapons, and in particular weapons of war, but also the numerous settling of scores, poses the risk of a new escalation of violence during the long holiday period”, was moved Serge Letchimy (various left), the president of the executive council of the territorial community of Martinique, in a press release published on June 16, the day after a deadly tragedy. Worried of “stop the death spiral”the head of the territorial executive declared having written to Gérald Darmanin, the Minister of the Interior, in order to ask “the return of a squadron of 80 mobile gendarmes”. By order of the minister, such a gendarmerie unit had been deployed on the island between November 2022 and May 2023 to stem a wave of crime. In five months, this squadron carried out 700 arrests. But since his departure, the violence has started to rise again.
Geographical “crossroads” of all traffic
“Every week, we have images of young people shooting at each other. I also wrote to the Minister of the Interior to request the appointment, as in Martinique, of a senior security official [nommé pour cinq mois, fin 2022, en Martinique]but also the same radar system as in Mayotte to identify clandestine entries by sea”erts Olivier Serva (Freedoms, independents, overseas and territories), deputy of Guadeloupe, while a recent local study showed that insecurity was largely at the top of the concerns of Guadeloupeans. “The reality of our territory invalidates the vision (…) of violence that would be linked to illegal immigration”wrote in May, in a press release, the Guadeloupean Socialist Party, after the tenth death by firearm, describing territories ” at the crossroads “ geography of all trafficbut also national police personnel “divided by three since the 2000s”.
You have 37.14% of this article left to read. The following is for subscribers only.