By Benjamin Flowers
Amidst criticisms that the international media has given biased coverage of the recent terrorist attacks in France, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) issued a statement in support of those killed and injured.
Following the attacks last Friday, the CARICOM Secretariat issued a statement condemning the attacks, and offering condolences to the families of those who died in the incidents.
Leaders of several CARICOM member states have also individually registered their discontent with the attacks and have offered their condolences to the people of France. These include Jamaica, Guyana, Bermuda, and the Bahamas.
The attacks, around seven total, occurred at a major sports stadium, restaurants and bars, as well as a concert hall leaving 129 dead and over 350 injured.
Several online sites, however, as well as tens of thousands of social media users have called out the mass media and social media platforms for biased reporting of the tragedy, giving preference to France but ignoring tragedies in other territories happening around the same time.
Facebook, for instance, launched a special service after the attack allowing for residents in France to check in and alert family and friends of their well-being.
Facebook went a step further and created a filter that allowed users to overlay a French flag over their profile pictures in support of France during the crisis.
On Thursday, the day before, a twin suicide bombing killed over 40 in Beirut, Lebanon; while in Baghdad, Iraq on Friday, the same day as the Paris attack, bombings killed 129 and wounded 33. Facebook neither offered the check in service nor created any flag filters in response.
After the attacks, Al Jazeera English posted an article on its website criticizing media houses such as CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News, for “categorizing Lebanese victims while mourning French ones.”
CARICOM issued no statement on the attacks in any of the other territories. Belizean Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred Elrington, could not be reached to comment on whether or not the government of Belize would be voicing its support of either France or the other affected territories.