A 54-year-old woman was stabbed to death at her home in Le Lamentin, in central Martinique, on Sunday, and a suspect was arrested by neighbors and then handed over to police. The body was discovered late Sunday afternoon by neighbors who alerted the police, the fire department told AFP news agency.
These neighbors also neutralized and tied up a suspect who was present at the time the body was discovered until the police and gendarmes arrived. This 54-year-old man was then taken into custody as part of a flagrant investigation.
When firefighters arrived, the victim’s body showed numerous stab wounds, likely from a cutlass, a machete traditionally used on the island to cut sugar cane. According to prosecutors, the suspect is not the victim’s companion, but their connection has yet to be established.
This is the first murder of a woman in Martinique of 19 murders committed in the territory since the beginning of the year, the prosecutor confirmed to AFP.
Local feminist groups reacted immediately to the crime. “Given the increase in violence [en Martinique], what role does violence against women play in our policy proposals? None!” regrets the UFM, the women’s union of Martinique, in a press release. “This is the first murder of a woman since the beginning of the year, but there are all these women that we get every day who are being killed slowly, psychologically and morally,” Georges Arnaud, co-founder of Culture Égalité, told AFP.