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on Mauritius, where back-breaking work was endured on sugar
plantations, says Vine. They developed their own version of the Creole language, schools for t
heir children, tended private gardens and led a peaceful way of life.
In 1967, the US and UK began tearing that life apart, exiling all the inhabitants from their land.
”Initially, people who went for special medical treatment to Mauritius were just neve
r allowed to come back,” says Pierre Prosper, who was born on Peros Banhos, a northeast atoll of Chag
os. “So a mother who gave birth would be left in Mauritius while the rest of the family would be in Chagos.”
Medical and food supplies to the island were gradually restricted, until event
ually, in 1973, all those remaining were told they had to leave “overnight,” Prosper says.