France deploys gendarmerie on Caribbean islands in fear of vaccination obligations

The French government has deployed troops on Martinique and Guadeloupe in the Caribbean as protests against the mandatory COVID-19 vaccine and other pandemic-related restrictions intensify.

Police reinforcements were sent to the Caribbean region of France on Tuesday after weeks of anxiety and violent protests against COVID-19 measures, including mandatory vaccinations for health care workers.

Compulsory vaccination of health workers, a measure already introduced in mainland France, has fueled resentment among the island’s inhabitants.

France’s overseas territory minister, Sebastian Le Corne, said 70 genderms early in the day, in addition to two unannounced squadrons deployed from a large French city to remove road blockades. Said that he had arrived in Martinique.

French Foreign Minister Sebastian Le Corne
French Foreign Minister Sebastian Le Corne will attend and speak at a press conference on November 30, 2021 during his official visit to Fort-de-France on the island of Martinique in the Caribbean Sea of ​​France. (AlainJocard / AFP via Getty Images)

“Social dialogue is impossible without a sound foundation, which is the reestablishment of freedom … and our ability to reestablish order,” Recorne said at a press conference in Martinique. He said after meeting the leader and the union.

In Guadeloupe, home to about 400,000 inhabitants, 70 police reinforcements were sent on Tuesday with 10 additional SWAT team members to strengthen security, Recorne said.

Guadeloupe protest
Protesters raised the flag of the “General Confederation of Labor” CGTG trade union on November 29 during a demonstration against forced vaccination in front of the province of Poant Apitr on the island of Guadeloupe in the Caribbean Sea, France. increase. 2021. (Christophe Archambault / AFP via Getty Images)

After many people were systematically exposed to the toxic pesticides used on banana plantations in the 1970s, there is historical distrust of the government’s response to the health crisis in Guadeloupe. Protesters argued that they should be allowed to make their own choices about health treatments.

Paris announced last week that it would postpone the mandatory COVID-19 vaccine for public sector workers in a widespread protest, but the protests continue.

Vaccine mandates and other COVID-19 restrictions have fueled long-standing dissatisfaction with living standards and the relationship between French Caribbean islands and Paris.

French President Emmanuel Macron described the ongoing anxiety as an “explosive” situation.

French President Emmanuel Macron meets with Madagascar President Andry Rajoelina in Paris
French President Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, August 27, 2021. (BenoitTessier / Reuters)

While more than 30 protesters were detained in Guadeloupe last week, there were many reports of looting and individuals building street barricades to slow traffic.

In Guadeloupe, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin, the situation is still “very difficult”. Said Tuesday’s French Interradio. “There are still scenes of extreme violence where police are shot with real ammunition,” he added.

Media group Artis said in a statement last week that journalists from French television, news and photography agencies were attacked.

According to Agence France-Presse, 375,000 protesters shot dead police officers and firefighters on Martinique.Local government Said One police officer was seriously injured and needed surgery.

Reuters contributed to this report.

Isabelle van Brugen


Isabel van Brugen is an award-winning journalist and currently a news reporter for The Epoch Times. She holds a Master’s degree in Newspaper Journalism from City University of London.