NOW weighs in on ‘abuse of power’ case in St Vincent

At a time when the “Me Too” movement has brought worldwide attention to the plight of women who are sexually assaulted and harassed in the workplace, the plight of a Vincentian woman caught up in a dispute with one of that country’s most powerful men has attracted the attention of the National Organization of Women (NOW).

In what many have described as an abuse of power, a magistrate recently ordered 23-year-old former model Yugge Farrell sent to the mental hospital for three weeks when she appeared in court on a misdemeanour offence.

Yugge Farrell

Farrell was charged with using abusive language at Karen Duncan-Gonsalves, the wife Camillo Gonsalves, the country’s finance minister.

The young woman subsequently released several videos on social media claiming to have been involved in an intimate relationship with the minister, who is the son of Vincentian prime minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves.

The young woman was today granted EC$1,000 bail with one surety.

In throwing her support behind Farrell, NOW Public Relations Officer Marsha Hinds said the case was a sharp reminder that the decades of gains made by Caribbean women could easily be eroded.

“The gains of women across the Caribbean are Barbados’ gains and likewise the losses of the women of the Caribbean are Barbados’ losses. It hammers for Barbadians that regardless of whether or not you are middle class or lower class, we are all women and we have to be able to support each other,” Hinds said.

The NOW spokesperson went onto warn men in positions of power that gone are days when they could subjugate women without being called to account.

“I think that the overarching thing that has come out of this matter is that Barbados and the Caribbean cannot continue to think that it is business as usual without accountability for what we do. This case attracted the attention of Human Rights International, it attracted the attention of Amnesty International and one point NBC [US television network] was doing some coverage on the issue. It drives home to all of us in Barbados and the wider Caribbean that we have to do something to rewrite our masculinity and the way we execute intimate relationships because the world is calling itself into accountability and the Caribbean will be washed in that wave,” she stressed.

The issue, which sparked demonstrations in Canada from the Vincentian Diaspora, also attracted the attention of Barbadian attorney-at-law Andrew Pilgrim, QC, who offered his services pro bono to take over from Grant Connell as lead counsel for Farrell.

“Basically I felt like causes like this could benefit from a senior attorney and I felt that I could help. So I reached out to Grant, who I had met before, and he accepted my help and I came down,” Pilgrim told Barbados TODAY by telephone from St Vincent.

He also revealed that he was not the only legal mind that had been inclined to respond to Farrell’s plight as human rights lawyers from Grenada, Jamaica, Trinidad and Guyana have expressed great concern.

“We had a good result today with her released on bail and we are going to take everything from there. I have had lots of support from a number of human rights attorneys throughout the Caribbean for which we are grateful,” Pilgrim said. (CM)

23 Responses to NOW weighs in on ‘abuse of power’ case in St Vincent

  1. Alex Alleyne January 30, 2018 at 12:12 pm

    Gonsalves, Birds…..power .

    • Ras January 30, 2018 at 5:30 pm

      Andrew Pilgrim looking after Yugge
      Justice will be served , the policewomen can’t work in peace in St.Vincent now them Morons trying to unfair Yugge
      Thee Camel used, abused, refuse and now dash way thee gal and send she to the mad house
      Respect to Andrew Pilgrim don’t let them unfair Yugge

  2. archy perch January 30, 2018 at 12:49 pm

    Like father like son. Remember the father and the police woman?
    Is there a difference between a right-wing dictator and a left-wing dictator…i don’t think so.

  3. sticks and stones January 30, 2018 at 1:35 pm

    The apple does not fall far from the tree. The treatment of this woman is unconscionable but you know what the Gonsalves family having the power and connections would make sure her day in court would be marked with taint and scorn and despicable branding

  4. Tony Webster January 30, 2018 at 1:35 pm

    Arrowroot Republic? Dynasty-in-the-making?

  5. Alex Alleyne January 30, 2018 at 2:00 pm

    I hope in the end she counter sue and take it all the way to the CCJ if necessary.

    • David Brathwaite January 30, 2018 at 3:14 pm

      St. Vincent is not a member of the CCJ in its appellate jurisdiction. She would have to go to the Privy Council.

      Most of the Caribbean only recognize the CCJ for states rights, trade and related issues.

  6. hcalndre January 30, 2018 at 2:45 pm

    This is what these third world countries` politicians believe that they and their families are royality because of their positions, that`s why court cases must be open to the public. This lady might have to asked for asylum after the case for her safety.

  7. Helicopter(8P) January 30, 2018 at 2:50 pm

    Looking foward to the best for mankind we would hope that respect and love of humankind take its place, where women respect themselves in a proper ethical attitude and men the same. Moral values are at most importance, and far superior to financial gain. At present sexual harassment is main agend leading toward civil war of a new dimension.

  8. jrsmith January 30, 2018 at 3:21 pm

    This is one straight simple issue, if this young lady was white , everything would be totally different……….But on the other side , this kind of attitude and behaviour is how the regions politicians learn to behave , that’s why we are stuck in the past looking back 50 years have we progressed………

  9. luther thorne January 30, 2018 at 4:42 pm

    Camillo is the next Prime Minister of St. Vincent.
    He is being positioned and will probably be installed as PM before the next election

    HON. Donville Inniss should have been positioned eversince. The DLP is tactically off with this matter. Donville should have been supported as Prime Minister in the last year of DLP reign. The Eager 11 had the right idea. They should have broken away from the DLP if they did not get their way, Mistake !

    Donville might still become LOO – Leader Of the Opposition
    A salaried position.

    Take a leaf out of Hon . Ralph Gonsalves’ book
    Wait! Its too Late now
    Mia Step Forward please !
    You have earn your spurs

  10. Alex Alleyne January 30, 2018 at 5:09 pm

    @DB, thanks, I am always thinking CARICOM. totally forgot that CCJ is seen by most of the Islands as just a “Rum Shop”.

  11. Alex Alleyne January 30, 2018 at 5:16 pm

    Where are the WOMENS’ group(s) from JA & T&T along with Guyana and other CARICOM Countries?, Please step forward and give this LADY a helping hand.
    Oh, how that Dxxxck must be good. Got 2 Women fighting over it.

  12. Sheron Inniss January 30, 2018 at 6:21 pm

    Calling to all women. Do you believe this lady is telling the truth? Well you all know what to do. I start.

  13. Alex Alleyne January 30, 2018 at 7:05 pm

    @SI, you know if this was some “bread and fish” story most women will be all over it.
    When a Young Lady is missing most people on it usually be MEN asking her to come back home.
    Ladies you all are nice and this Lady need some support . come get on board , we done know who she dealing with.

  14. milli.watt January 30, 2018 at 7:52 pm

    this is what happens when you got the spawn of former colonials (PORTUGUESE) running a BANANA REPUBLIC………..

  15. Sue Donym January 30, 2018 at 7:58 pm

    What is implied by the retention of a non-Vincentian attorney should scare right-thinking people. The suggestion is that a local attorney might very well expect some reprisals for proceeding in a manner that might upset the powers that be. It took an “outsider” that could let them know that he “don’t rice at them” to get the young lady released.

    What a shame to realise the way this was dealt with – all the way to the top. And “neither one couldn’t tell the next come back”. They have no more morals than slugs.

  16. Samantha Best January 30, 2018 at 8:41 pm

    Everyone is missing the fundamental issue here. The Magistrate’s ruling appears to be unlawful and the lawyer fears for his future and called in outside help!

    This is not good. There is no justice here.

  17. Foster January 30, 2018 at 9:54 pm

    Once again the court of public opinion has decided innocence or guilt.I do not know who is guilty or innocent and no evidence has bee produced thus far. Regularly accused persons in Barbados are sent to be evaluated and no noise is made. Persons just need to let the law take its course. Just remember that but for the grace of God go I.

    • Mark My Word January 31, 2018 at 6:32 am

      Persons just need to let the law take its course and you need to remain in Foster Care

    • Sue Donym January 31, 2018 at 9:48 am

      @Foster, you’re all over the place. The issue hasn’t even reached the stage of guilt or innocence, so nobody is making pronouncements about that. People are talking about the process appearing to be unfair and heavy handed – from the charges, to the prosecution, to the decision to commit the young lady. The suggestion is that it’s more about who the players are and who might have sought or used influence inappropriately.
      Have you decided that this is comparable to a case where an apparent addict or a person behaving erratically is sent for evaluation?
      It stinks! And yes, it could happen to anyone. That is exactly why one should speak up

  18. luther thorne January 30, 2018 at 11:36 pm

    13 inches
    is reported to at the heart of this matter.
    13 inches of cloth that can be worn outside of his tunic

  19. jrsmith February 4, 2018 at 6:52 am

    All you seems to miss couple points, which is so clear ,if she was a white woman this would have never happen and the other side the region and it them and us democracy …………..


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