A Haitian farm labourer. (file photo)
Nassau, Bahamas: A farmer in the southwestern area of New Providence is crying for help, as every weekend has turned into a ‘Police Pay Day’ , where his workers must pay officers of the Royal Bahamas Police Force who frequent the area. The farm owner is finally speaking out here on Bahamas Press, highlighting the abusive and evil treatment towards Haitian farm labours by officers of the law. The farmer noted that he is, “sick and tired of the cruelty” weekend after weekend at his farm and others in the surrounding area.
Members of the general public are quickly becoming numb to the open corruption practices and lawlessness today now being carried out by the growing numbers of rogue officers on the Royal Bahamas Police Force. It was these same kinds of practices officers used in Rwanda, causing that country to develop a bloody civil war. Rwanda being halfway around the world also became numb and cold to the genocide of its Tutsi citizens. In Rwanda, the police and the army formed militias. They rapped, maimed, hacked to death and burned residents, causing a river of blood to flow across the country. Today that dark history of Rwanda is best know as the Rwandan Genocide of 1994, where 800,000 of its citizens perished at the hands of Hutu rebels. And we point this out to show that The Bahamas through its officers can be turned, if left unchecked, into a similar dark page of history.
But today here on this once peaceful island, we are taking notes, and today Bahamas Press presents what can only describe as ‘the gathering storm’, down in the back of Cowpen Road. The area is fast becoming a bloody crime zone. Every weekend a Haitian labourer in the area is robbed and steers death in the eye. Every weekend a Haitian labourer is held at gunpoint and cash is demanded of them. Every weekend Haitian workers must pass his entire earnings over to his attacker or face the barrel of a gun, never to see his or her family again.
A journalist following this story from one of the daily ‘WUTLESS’ newspapers told Bahamas Press that the stories are horrifying. She noted that the attacks no strangers to this country are escalating. In fact she noted to Bahamas Press that the attacks sometimes are done by the very men and women we call on for help. But amazingly for the labourers in the southwest area of New Providence, they cannot call the police for their attackers are members of the Royal Bahamas Police Force.
Bahamas Press interviewed one of the Bahamian farmers in the area, and asked him to give account of his now traumatized employees. The farmer said;
“What is happening here, right here in this island [New Providence] is unbelievable. Every weekend, officers come here to my property and harass my workers. Last week, some officers came in their vehicle and took a gun out of his back trunk and demanded the cash from my labourers. What disturbed me was how one of the police threatened a pregnant woman before she can to pass over her $100.”
Bahamas Press has not confirmed why the Haitians are being treated by Police officers in this way. It is our view that it is possible some of the victims are illegal residents and therefore, members of the RBPF have used their illegal status for personal monetary gain. Several Haitians have been discovered dead on farms in the southwest area this year and to date their deaths are still unclassified by the RBPF. One of the labours pointed out how an officer once took him and his fellow worker in their car to an area and continuously beat him until he showed them where he his funds were. “My brudda, dey beat me bad, bad, bad man, all over he lick me. My couin [cousin], he gun butt him. I scard!”
These incidences occur every weekend according to the labours and with the police officers being at the centre of these crimes, the victims have no recourse.
Bahamas Press has learned according to another eyewitness, that one of the officers committing these attacks on the labourers is officer #1015 of the Royal Bahamas Police Force. One of the sources confirmed that the officer appear sometimes in police uniform committing these acts on the workers as they do not disguise themselves. “They also sometimes come to the farm driving police vehicles when they make their visits to the farms.” The source said.
Bahamas Press has also learned that this is a practise occurring against some Haitian and Chinese nationals with business establishments all over New Providence. Where officers are seen harassing some store owners for funds and supplies, according to another source.
Residents of The Bahamas should not turn numb to this new breaking developments of crime being committed by rogue officers. Many should ask themselves, how can police #1015 be a friend to the community whilst at the same time he and some others acts as an enemy to the same community?
The reporter advised Bahamas Press that journalist were told by officers that they cannot publish this incident, until an official complaint and investigation had been filed. Bahamas Press therefore hopes the Complaints and Corruption Unit of the RBPF will act quickly on this, before another Haitian national is discovered dead on a farm in the southwest area of New Providence.