From looting to fires: New unrest rocks French Caribbean over Covid measures

Protesters in French overseas territories in the Caribbean opposing measures to limit the spread of Covid-19 clashed again with security forces as the Paris government vowed to restore order.

Let's take a look:

Burning tires

Hardline opponents of measures that include compulsory vaccination for healthworkers on the island of Guadeloupe manned barricades of burning tyres while on Martinique police were targeted by gunfire.


High poverty level

Anger over the Covid measures imposed by Paris has fanned longstanding grievances in the territories that are popular with moneyed tourists but where poverty levels are far higher than in mainland France.

As a result residents have long felt marginalised by the central government.


Slow vaccination rate

Vaccination rates in the territories trail those on the mainland with less than half the population jabbed against Covid on Guadeloupe.


Test for French President Emmanuel Macron

The protests mark a test for the government of President Emmanuel Macron who has made much of the global footprint given to France by overseas territories that span the Caribbean to the Pacific via the Indian Ocean.


Barricades on highways

Barricades made of taxis or tyres have now also been set up on main highways in Martinique and they remain in place in Guadeloupe where a meeting Monday chaired by Prime Minister Jean Castex failed to dampen anger.


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