Barbados. At the turn of the year, Prime Minister David Thompson withdrew due to unidentified illness. He had previously told of stomach pains. Deputy Prime Minister Freundel Stuart took over as acting chief of government, and later announced that Thompson was being cared for in New York for pancreatic cancer. In October, he died at 48, after two years as head of government. According to COUNTRYAAH, Barbados has a population of 286,641 (2018). Stuart became new prime minister. Tens of thousands of Barbadians attended Thompson’s funeral outside Bridgetown.
A brutal robbery shocked Barbados in September, a country with relatively low crime rates. Six people died after robbers equipped with jungle knives rushed into a clothing store in the capital Bridgetown. The robbers demanded money and then set fire to the store.