Police Officer Injured in Latest Pandemic Unrest on Guadeloupe

People participate in a peaceful protest against the government's coronavirus disease (COVID-19) protocols through downtown Fort de France after the unrest triggered by these curbs, which have already rocked the nearby island of Guadeloupe, in Fort-De-France, Martinique November 28, 2021. REUTERS/Ricardo Arduengo
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PARIS, Jan 21 (Reuters) – Further civil unrest broke out overnight on Friday in the French overseas territory of Guadeloupe and at least one police officer was injured, the Caribbean island’s prefect said.

Police officers came under attack from gunfire, stones and petrol bombs, the prefect – the chief representative of the central French state – said in a statement.

Guadeloupe and the nearby French island of Martinique have been hit by violent protests over the past few months, due partly to public anger over COVID-19 restrictions.

“The prefect condemns the unspeakable actions and offers its support to the injured person,” the statement said.

A curfew was put in place in Guadeloupe at the end of last year in an effort to curb the sometimes violent protests.

The French government said in November that it was open to discussing autonomy for Guadeloupe if it were in the interest of the people who live there. read more

In Guadeloupe there has been mistrust of the French government’s handling of health crises since the 1970s when many islanders were exposed to toxic pesticides used in banana plantations.

Reporting by Benoit Van Overstraeten; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta and Mark Heinrich
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