Justice matters in Jamaica

One of our favourite American political podcasters, who focuses largely on the ex-President’s interminable legal manouevrings, intones at the end of each podcast: “Because Justice. Matters.” Emphasis on the final word. Well, so it does in Jamaica, too. Our Police Commissioner is looking increasingly haggard at each quarterly press conference, and our Prime Minister seemed … More Justice matters in Jamaica

Political will and maturity required for a consensus on crime in Jamaica

The number of murders in Jamaica passed the 1,000 mark for the year recently (can you imagine). It is always a grim milestone. We measure our “crime problem” by the number of lives lost – men, women and children – every year. They are not numbers. They are grandmothers. They are schoolchildren. They are abused … More Political will and maturity required for a consensus on crime in Jamaica

Human rights advocates respond to imposition of a State of Emergency in St. Catherine

What our local media like to call “the crime monster” continues to haunt us all, stalking us – ever in our footsteps. Rather like the monster in the Netflix series “Stranger Things,” its presence is always palpable in some way or another. But unlike the sci-fi monster, crime doesn’t live in the “Upside Down.” It … More Human rights advocates respond to imposition of a State of Emergency in St. Catherine

COVID-19 updates from Jamaica (January 8, 2022)

As Omicron is flying around the world at lightning speed, so it is in Jamaica. The problem with our island, though, is that the vast majority of our population is not vaccinated (close to 80 percent) despite vaccines being widely available (that is, AstraZeneca, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, and Sinopharm). According to the Reuters Coronavirus … More COVID-19 updates from Jamaica (January 8, 2022)

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