States of Public Emergency in Jamaica: For or against, what to do now?

I wrote recently for Global Voices about the imposition of States of Public Emergency (SOPEs) in no less than seven police divisions across the island on November 14, in light of a tremendous spike in our murder rate. Well, the SOPEs will end this weekend, after just two weeks. After hours of debate, the Upper … More States of Public Emergency in Jamaica: For or against, what to do now?

A Joint Statement from the Ambassador of the European Union to Jamaica and the United Nations Resident Coordinator to Jamaica

from Marianne Van Steen, Ambassador of the European Union to Jamaica and Dr. Garry Conille, United Nations Resident Coordinator to Jamaica on The violence perpetrated on November 16th against several participants of a Spotlight Initiative Workshop in Westmoreland The past few days have been disturbing. On Sunday, November 14, Prime Minister Andrew Holness announced that … More A Joint Statement from the Ambassador of the European Union to Jamaica and the United Nations Resident Coordinator to Jamaica

One Summer: a poem in memory of Stephen Lawrence by Ann-Margaret Lim

Jamaican poet Ann-Margaret Lim was published on the Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-Day today (October 21). The poem is a memorial to Stephen Lawrence, the 18-year-old who was murdered by a gang of white thugs at a bus stop in London in 1993. Investigations into the murder were rife with corruption allegations, and a subsequent … More One Summer: a poem in memory of Stephen Lawrence by Ann-Margaret Lim

September 21, 2021 in Jamaica: The car that broke down, the toast that burnt, and the polls that flopped

With tropical storms pottering around in the Atlantic (two are called Peter and Rose, the names of our nephew and niece, respectively), it has been warm and muggy in Kingston. Clouds appear and do not bring rain. It has been a week of surprising developments – not least that of the toast to “No Movement … More September 21, 2021 in Jamaica: The car that broke down, the toast that burnt, and the polls that flopped

Jamaica Update, September 13, 2021: Putting that awful August well behind us

It was an awful August, truly. Ten days in, the month had already got the thumbs down from me on many counts. The predictable but still shocking report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was one thing. Then there are the relentlessly soaring COVID-19 numbers, reflected in the tired faces of Minister Christopher … More Jamaica Update, September 13, 2021: Putting that awful August well behind us

Jamaica Update, August 3, 2021: Andrew pleas for peace, Elaine flies down the track, and everyone must get vaxxed

These are tense times. While most of Jamaica has been glued to the Olympics track events – obviously, our forte – the number of COVID-19 cases has been accumulating rapidly. New cases are now in three digits daily, and so are hospital admissions. It is alarming, but what’s happening in Tokyo has provided a welcome … More Jamaica Update, August 3, 2021: Andrew pleas for peace, Elaine flies down the track, and everyone must get vaxxed

Jamaica Update, July 27, 2021: Insults hurled, apologies not proffered, and COVID-19 fraying nerves

The problem-plagued Olympic Games in Tokyo finally got under way, and has proved a helpful distraction for Jamaicans fretting about COVID-19 and everything else. And we had some soothing rain – although it has been a contentious week, with insults flying here, there, and everywhere. Oh, and on a personal note…our roof is still leaking. … More Jamaica Update, July 27, 2021: Insults hurled, apologies not proffered, and COVID-19 fraying nerves

Jamaica Update, July 19, 2021: An abandoned bicycle, a lifeboat, and a bulk resignation letter

It has been two weeks since I wrote my last update. However, I will try to ensure there is no “stale” news here. I have been what millennials would call “super busy” – with a bumper crop of mangoes, and the Caribbean Tree Planting Week (read more here!) We are also living in some kind … More Jamaica Update, July 19, 2021: An abandoned bicycle, a lifeboat, and a bulk resignation letter

Jamaica Update, July 5, 2021: Elsa swamps us, Mindi stands firm, and Tashekia meets an untimely death

What a week of upheaval and apprehension as Tropical Storm Elsa approached, seemingly setting her sights on us. In the end, she squeezed between our island and Hispaniola, dragging a huge bag of rain along with her. And as you know, Jamaica has just “reopened” and the Delta variant is on the horizon (or quite … More Jamaica Update, July 5, 2021: Elsa swamps us, Mindi stands firm, and Tashekia meets an untimely death

A strictly security-focused approach to crime prevention is costly, ineffective and paves the way for human rights violations

Just a couple of days ago, Prime Minister Andrew Holness said, frowning heavily as he spoke at the opening of a new police station in his own constituency of Olympic Gardens, Kingston: There is no doubt that our use of States of Public Emergency has worked to reduce murders and shootings where ever they have … More A strictly security-focused approach to crime prevention is costly, ineffective and paves the way for human rights violations