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Jamaica

Yearbook 1999

Jamaica. In July, the government ordered the security forces into the largest force demonstration on Kingston's streets since the state of emergency in 1976. The decision was made following a wave of violent crimes; 34 were killed in Kingston and environs in July. From the beginning of 1999 to July, 505 people had been killed, of which 95 were in June alone. One of those who fell victim to the violence was Rose Leon, 80, who was murdered in his home on August 16, likely by burglars.

According to Countryaah official website, Leon was Minister of Health and Housing in 1953–55 during the then Labor government and was one of the first women to have a political mission in Jamaica. The violence is thought to have escalated following a large influx of weapons from the United States and after criminals of Jamaican origin were deported from the United States and the United Kingdom.

Jamaica, which had 40 convicted prisoners waiting in the prison cells, is expected to follow Trinidad and Tobago's example (which executed 9 convicts in June 1999) and begin executing executions.

1999 Jamaica

In 2002, Jamaica celebrated its 40th Independence Day and that same year Patterson was elected to his 3rd term as Prime Minister. The election campaign was the least violent in many years. Economically, Patterson continues the liberalist policy that has been in effect since his takeover of power in 1992. Foreign policy has followed an independent line, declaring in 2003 that he wanted to implement constitutional reforms that would make Jamaica a republic, thus finally breaking ties with Britain.

The country faces two serious problems: drug trafficking and emigration. In 2001, 100 tons of cocaine and marijuana passed through the country, and certain sectors of the police seem to be participating in this illegal business. About 20,000 emigrate annually - primarily to Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom.

In early 2004, 20 boat refugees from Haiti arrived on the run from Jean Bertrand Aristide's regime. In March, the then Aristides himself temporarily crashed in Jamaica. Government spokesmen stated that Aristides could stay in the country for up to 10 weeks, but did not have to engage in political activities during this period. Opponents of the president declared that his stay in a country so close to Haiti could make the situation more unstable in Haiti itself.

In September, the country was hit by Hurricane Ivan, affecting the southern part, where several cities were flooded and hit by landslides. At least 1 was killed by the hurricane reaching wind speeds of 248 km/h and roads were disconnected. In several places, electricity, water and telephone were disconnected. Several thousands sought refuge in other parts of the country, and the government declared the state of emergency in order to avoid any disruption to public policy.

In May 2005, the aid organization Christian Aid published a report pointing out that the government's liberalization measures had cost many women their jobs and forced them into prostitution or drug trafficking.

 

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