Nicole Sylvester was a prominent Vincentian lawyer and activist who served as president of both the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Bar Association and the Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Human Rights Association. Sylvester was renowned for love of country and democracy, often using her position to fight for the rights of Vincentians pro bono and working to promote free and fair elections. Nicole rose to national attention in 2008 when she took on a case involving the alleged rape and cover-up of a policewoman by St. Vincent’s Prime Minister, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves. Despite her good health, Sylvester contracted a dubious illness which led to an eventual stroke for which she never recovered. She passed away at the age of 51 in 2015 leaving behind two sons. The circumstances around her illness remain in question and many suspect the administration in question of conducting foul play.
Illustration by Anne Di Lillo
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is known as the “gems of the Antilles”, represented by three diamonds on their national flag. In Ms. Sylvester’s portrait these shapes are scattered and uneven, mimicking a shattered larger diamond– a strong advocate for human rights for her community, taken from them far too soon.
389 km2 (184th)
Parliamentary democracy under constitutional monarchy