The author didn't elaborate on the type of prejudice involved in this case. Know that two bartender friends, one a born Tortolian, the other a born Antiguan, both long term residents of the USVI, were similarly incarcerated and fined the same week. They were on a 21' boat that did not have a GPS or fish finder. They had a grand total of three hand lines, and six fish. They were approximately 150 yards from the USVI/BVI line of divide. The blind and ignorant could easily discern that these are not commercial fishermen, just friends hanging out on a small recreational watercraft.
I agree it is totally unjust and that something must be done about it. We have a magistrate that is causing a serious rift and deterioration of relations between two peoples that have deep historic and blood ties. Alien smugglers, individuals possessing illegal guns, robbers and other dangerous criminals are treated relatively mild compared to these everyday folks. This woman is insane. If you ask me, I think she is using her position to retaliate against the BVI government and people for having the audacity to require travel visas from her fellow Jamaican countrymen. When the BVI instituted this policy, the government of Jamaica immediately retaliated and now requires BVI citizens to carry a visa. If the Jamaican government felt the need to retaliate because of a bruised national pride, no one is going to convince me that some of their countrymen in positions of power are not going to feel the desire to reflexively retaliate as well. She cannot be that clueless to not know the damage she is causing.
It may sound farfetched, but this is the only way I can come to grips with her irrational decisions. They make absolutely no sense. These everyday folk pose no physical threat to society, yet they are immediately incarcerated and given heavy fines. A person held for smuggling illegal aliens, among who could be very dangerous criminals and/or terrorists, are given a nominal fine and deported. Go figure.
The BVI Government has got to step in at this point. They cannot continue to hide behind the fact that the Magistrate is of the Judicial branch of government, and that they are of the Legislative branch. The local elected officials are the ones the put the law on the books in the first place.
Until something is done about this issue, the USVI/BVI Friendship Day is a sham.
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