According to police statistics, 14’868 Jamaicans have been murdered between the decade which spawned the year 2007 and 2017.
Those numbers do not include missing persons who have not been heard from again or those killed who haven’t been reported to authorities. Missing from the equation also, are those who have been shot or otherwise injured who did not die immediately.
Those numbers reflect law enforcement officers and ordinary Jamaicans, not the type of Jamaicans which would really jog the consciences of those in power.
No Member of Parliament, no University Professors, no Minister of Government. In other words hardly anyone from the gilded elites but for an outlier or two.
So the 14’868 Jamaicans who lost their lives in the undeclared decades-long civil war have become mere statistics, throw-aways, collateral damage and life continue as if nothing happens.
How have our leaders dealt with the issue? A quick look at the numbers year over year, gives a pretty good indication that whatever has been tried clearly has not been working.
SO WHAT EXACTLY HAS THE GOVERNMENT BEEN DOING
From my vantage point both the previous PNP Administration and the Governing JLP Administration, either misunderstand the importance of the rule of law to a democratic society or they have collaboratively made the decision that politics and the trappings of power are more important than country.
Additionally, the onerous over-reach of foreign-funded, locally based criminal rights lobby groups, have virtually tied the hands and sealed the lips of politicians on both sides of the political divide with the exception of a few.
Groups like Jamaicans For Justice has compiled Police fatal shooting data and have presented those data to their handlers in Washington DC in contexts which have been disfavorable to both the Government and the Jamaica Constabulary Force.
The critical support which normally comes from the United States to assist in the fight against Gangsters and Terrorists are summarily discontinued when allegations of extrajudicial killings are made against law enforcement entities like the JCF as per the Leahy Law.
The Leahy Law is the colloquial term for a provision of the Foreign Assistance Act (section 620M) and its twin provision in the National Defense Authorization Act. See Act here: https://www.justsecurity.org/42578/leahy-law-prohibiting-assistance-human-rights-abusers-pulling-curtain/
The shocking truth is that agencies may not technically be in breach of Human rights protocols to be penalized and for assistance to be cut off.
“Credible Information”: Although meeting the threshold of credibility is less for “information” than it is for “evidence,” the bar is still surprisingly hard to meet, contrary to common perception. The State Department’s Office of the Legal Advisor, appropriately in my view, counseled that information need only be credible to a “reasonable” person in order to compel a restriction of assistance. And in theory, according to State Department Guidance, “the standard should generally be regarded as low.”
It is this law which has been used to penalize members of the JCF and the institution itself on the flimsiest of evidence submitted to the Inter American Commission on human rights by JFJ under the leadership of pediatric doctor and then head of JFJ Carolyn Gomes.
It is that misuse and duplicitous manipulation of data which has changed the paradigm in how the JCF addresses crime, a small detail which has eluded the ordinary Jamaican.
It is that law which is behind the expansion, growth, and power of the lobby which has hovered over law enforcement, influenced legislation and has terrified the Island’s leaders into submission.
The prospect of not receiving grants, being cut off from loans, is terrifying just on the face of it.
Losing visas and not being allowed into the United States as some members of the JCF has been subjected has been more than enough to get the police to back off from aggressively enforcing our laws.
The borrower is a slave to the lender according to the Bible, (according to common sense).Simply put it’s economic.
When Law enforcement is afraid to engage because of the consequences of that engagement criminals are emboldened. When murderers are emboldened people die, people are raped, children are abused.
The level of lawlessness in the country has gone up dramatically over the years, so it’s not just homicides, there is a general sense that the rule of law does not exist anymore.
Are there some corrupt cops you bet, so too are there corrupt judges, politicians, lawyers, doctors, businessmen, Pastors and in every single discipline.
The hem and haw about police corruption is merely an attempt to distract from the real reasons crime has been going up and up each year.
The challenge for the leaders now is how do they get some semblance of control without upsetting the people in Washington DC?
Remember their Rottweilers, Pugs, and Mongrels are there watching and waiting to file their fraudulent reports.