According to Countryaah data, in February 1995, 3 men charged with murder were hanged. The government on the occasion lifted the ban on the death penalty, which had been introduced several years earlier. A move that was strongly condemned by Amnesty International.
In 1996, the country signed an agreement with the United States allowing the North American Coast Guard to pursue drug traffickers into St. John’s. Vincent’s territorial waters. The cooperation agreement was extended in August with a extradition agreement to facilitate the delivery of suspected anesthetic smugglers to prosecution in the United States.
The US intervention in the region from 1998 greatly affected the country’s economy. Pressure from Washington caused a military battalion in a 10-day lightning strike in December to destroy all marijuana plantations in the country. The cannabis farmers protested the devastation, leaving them with no other survival options. In addition, protests came from 25,000 banana growers. In the WTO, the United States was pressing hard to make known the EU’s preferential rights for, among other things, Caribbean bananas for illegal. The abolition of preferential rights will strike the peasants of St. Vincent, who has Europe as their main market.
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According to thesciencetutor, the economic situation in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines did not improve in 2000 and unemployment reached 30%. In October, Arnhim Eustace was named interim prime minister after extensive protest demonstrations against Mitchell’s government.