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

Jamaica Update, June 28, 2021: Anxious doctors, relaxed protocols, and the Saudis visit

It has been raining, thankfully. It has been damp and humid and thundery, and the garden is flourishing. Plus, the Euro football competition has been more than usually compelling. Apart from that, it’s been pretty much business as usual on this island – although I do sense a certain amount of tension and anxiety as … More Jamaica Update, June 28, 2021: Anxious doctors, relaxed protocols, and the Saudis visit

Jamaica Update, June 18, 2021: The city’s hottest day, Trench Town blues, and an Uber surprise

Phew! What a week. We have been under a stifling blanket of Saharan dust for the past couple of days, and endured our hottest day ever in Kingston (June 12). The best thing to do is hide indoors in the daytime and come out to exercise etc. after dark. It has been an exhausting week. … More Jamaica Update, June 18, 2021: The city’s hottest day, Trench Town blues, and an Uber surprise

Jamaican leaders, citizens must “act firmly” on violence against women – enough talk

Case closed. The Jamaica Constabulary Force put out a statement on Friday (April 16th) that it cannot continue investigations into a violent episode that took place in a parking lot ten days earlier, because the two people involved (a man and a woman) are not willing to press complaints. Also, the JCF said, the quality … More Jamaican leaders, citizens must “act firmly” on violence against women – enough talk

Treading Water: Jamaica’s Ranking on the 2020 Corruption Perception Index

National Integrity Action (NIA) held a virtual press briefing this morning, to announce Jamaica’s latest rating on Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index. The island is ranked at 69th out of 179, alongside Tunisia, Bulgaria, South Africa, Hungary, and Romania. Six CARICOM countries are ranked higher than us: that is, Barbados, Bahamas, St. Vincent and the … More Treading Water: Jamaica’s Ranking on the 2020 Corruption Perception Index

ICYMI in Jamaica, January 19, 2021: The “Gang-Related” Edition

It’s been one of those weeks that makes you weary. But, we toil on. The New Year (which we welcomed in rather muted fashion) already seems old. However, we were described by one overseas media house as a “gutsy” island. Sometimes one just feels tired. Perhaps it’s the humid, not-quite-ready-to-rain weather in Kingston. Nevertheless, let … More ICYMI in Jamaica, January 19, 2021: The “Gang-Related” Edition

Martin Luther King Day in Jamaica: The Dark Cloud of Violence

Today was Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in the United States. Jamaica: On New Year’s Eve (I was just reminded just this evening) I heard an eruption of fireworks, from people’s yards. There was a curfew, so there was no public display downtown. What I also heard was the insistent pumping, the flat thump of … More Martin Luther King Day in Jamaica: The Dark Cloud of Violence

ICYMI in Jamaica, December 21, 2020: The “Does It Feel Like Christmas” Edition

I get the feeling that Jamaicans are anxious to get to the Christmas holidays, so that we can clear our heads and try to get over this horrible year. The past week has been filled with dramas, sadness, and some sweetness and light. The weather continues to be quite deliciously soothing. I am looking forward … More ICYMI in Jamaica, December 21, 2020: The “Does It Feel Like Christmas” Edition

ICYMI in Jamaica, December 15, 2020: The Vaccine Edition

The big news has been not only the COVID-19 vaccine, but the fact that the very first person to receive it was a Jamaican American. A cold front arrived, bringing strong winds and lower temperatures for a day; our moringa tree took a beating, and has not recovered yet. And behind everything else the crime … More ICYMI in Jamaica, December 15, 2020: The Vaccine Edition