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
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
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?
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
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
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
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
Well, Christmas is over. We tried to make the best of it. Apart from a young man who insisted on riding his noisy motorbike up and down our street, Christmas was also quiet – perhaps because of the 7:00 p.m. curfew on Christmas Day and Boxing Day. However, in some places the illegal parties continued … More ICYMI in Jamaica, December 29: The Sam Sharpe Day Edition
Well, Hurricane Delta went away (taking most of Bluefields Beach in Westmoreland away with it) and we are left to reflect, once more, on our own human fragility in the face of climate change and COVID-19. Some of us would rather pretend, however, and sip on Bacardi or whatever their favorite drink is, without a … More ICYMI in Jamaica, October 13, 2020: The Kindness Edition
The violent thunderstorms of the previous week diminished, but we are in troubled times, bad weather or no. COVID-19 seems to be overwhelming us all. It’s the main topic of every newscast and almost every discussion on Twitter, WhatsApp, everywhere. Meanwhile, a small asteroid will be passing quite close to Earth soon – read more … More ICYMI in Jamaica, September 22, 2020: A Small Asteroid, Yeng Yengs, The Return of Kanye, and Any Further Questions?