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.
Visit Countryaah official website to get information about the capital city of Jamaica. 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.
- Also see Abbreviationfinder.org to see the acronym of JAM which stands for Jamaica and other definitions of this 3-letter abbreviation.
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.
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.
At the beginning of the 2000s, Jamaica, still marked by profound economic difficulties and strong social tensions, had to face a resurgence of crime linked to drug trafficking, in the face of which the repressive measures adopted by the government proved inadequate. On the contrary, the growing and indiscriminate use of violence by the police contributed to exacerbate the general state of uncertainty, causing an overall worsening of the living conditions of the population. Despite widespread discontent, the nationalist and progressive People’s National Party (PNP) managed, in September 2002, to win the elections for the fourth consecutive time, achieving 52.2 % of the vote, against 47.2% of the Jamaica Labor Party, of populist origin, but later transformed into a conservative party. The new government, also led by the leader of the PNP, PJ Patterson, maintained the restrictive economic policy already adopted in previous legislatures, aimed at reducing public debt, and tried to relaunch the country’s image to incentivize the tourism sector, severely penalized by the growth of internal violence. In the following years, however, the situation remained critical. In March 2006, Patterson resigned and the leadership of the government was taken over by P. Simpson Miller, from Feb. new leader of the PNP. In foreign policy, Jamaica promoted a gradual autonomy towards Great Britain, and in February 2001 he made an agreement with other countries in the region for the constitution of a Caribbean Court of Justice that would replace the one common to all states adhering to the Commonwealth and headed by London. The Senate ratified the agreement in April 2005. During 2004, relations with Haiti worsened, following the decision of the Jamaican government not to recognize the authority of the new Haitian administration which took office in March 2004 after the controversial removal of President JB Aristide (see Haiti).