Thursday 19 September, 2019

Mayor Francis - 'Threats are being made against me all the time'

Castries Mayor Peterson Francis is very conscious about his surroundings these days, especially when out in public.

Recent threats have been made against him, adding to threats that have been made over the years since he has been mayor.

Peterson takes these threats seriously and as a result, they have affected at least one aspect of his life – his love for walking.

The mayor, at a press conference held today June 19, 2019, called by him on an unrelated matter, told reporters that he had to curtail the amount of walking he does on a daily basis as a result of the threats.

But what type of threats have been made against Mayor Francis?

“There are people waiting for me saying be careful where I go, what I do, especially now,” Francis said adding that the threats are directed at him as a result of the work he has done and continues to do as Mayor of Castries.

“I will not disclose what I am doing to protect myself. I have not spoken to the police about these threats,” Francis said.

“Threats are being made against me all the time. You have to be concerned but I have always said I am a believer in destiny that if you have to die at your home, you will die at your home. If I have to die on the street, I will die on the street. If I have to die at a fete I will die at a fete. You just have to be careful and do what you believe to be necessary,” Francis added.

When asked whether he uses an armed escort wherever he goes Mayor Francis said he would rather vacate the mayoralty if it boils down to that.

“If now I have to walk the streets with a bodyguard I’ll leave the people job for them,” Francis said.

When questioned about his reason for not reporting the threats to police, Francis said he did not want to glorify the issue.

Earlier in Francis’ career as mayor, he did speak about against a particular individual who threw death threats at him. That was in 2017. That person was arrested by city police back then. Francis spoke to the person afterwards and told police to release the individual.

Francis was appointed Mayor of Castries in August 2016 and became a topical figure almost instantly for the changes he wrought in the city and its environs.

A consistent champion for mayors to be elected by the people rather than being appointed by the government of the day, Francis has been condemned and praised on both sides of the political fence for his views and actions relating to the city, its vendors, its architecture, its policing, its policies and son.

“The people must have a chance to decide on who they want as a mayor,” he reiterated today.

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