After Bruce Golding was forced to confront the reality that Tivoli Gardens the epic center of his West Kingston constituency was untenable he acted. Golding acted because he was forced to act. I wrote an open letter to Golding which was carried in the Daily Gleaner upon his ascendency. In that letter I asked the then Prime Minister to be different, I implored him to take on the mantle of Bustamante , Hugh Shearer in a renewed commitment to Jamaica, I told him if he was prepared to do the heavy lifting, the people would follow him and he would be remembered as the Prime Minister. Not just another, in a line of prime ministers.
Mister Golding either did not read that letter, or he blatantly ignored it. Either way Mister Golding ended up the worse for it. Despite his short-comings, and we could spend our lifetime arguing those from a political perspective, Golding was forced to recognize that the garrison culture as it existed could not be maintained in this new world. Golding gave our country Portia Simpson Miller and the sad incompetent lot the country has today. And reduced his legacy to a foot note in history. Leaders are not made they are born, one cannot lead from behind, one must make tough unpopular decisions to be a leader,buck the trends, remove the status quo. Golding in the end was capable of neither.
As such Mister Golding was forced to release the power of the state to repel what was a well orchestrated and defiant attack on the rule of law and the Jamaican state by extension. In the end over 70 people were reportedly killed and Tivoli Gardens was annexed to Jamaica. Whether the people of that community uses this opportunity to ingratiate themselves with the other communities which make up our country, is up to them to decide. They have been released from the tentacles of garrison politics. What they do with that opportunity will determine whether or not the security forces will ever have to enter that community with force of arms, or they will benefit from the services of community policing which all civilized people are entitled to.
Scene: Military APC navigating streets in Hannah town after terrorists went on a rampage.
Revisionist historians and criminal supporting groups if allowed will rewrite the story of what happened, they will lie to the world that 70 innocent people were murdered by agents of the state. Nowhere in those litany of lies and distortions will you see the Police stations which were razed, burned to the ground by Jamaica’s urban terrorists.
Pictures of the Hannah Town Police Station on fire, and the Cross Rds. Police Station after a terror assault on them
Nowhere will you see them talking about the officers killed in that assault. Nowhere will you hear about the scores of armed thugs who pledged their allegiance to Christopher (Duddus) Coke. And nowhere will you hear these charlatans speak about the thugs who picked up their weapons and moved to Tivoli Gardens to do battle against the state. When their lies are written and the revisionist stories told there will be no mention of Officers of this Cop.Police Sargeant Wayne (Max) Henriques, who was called away from celebrating his wedding anniversary with his beautiful wife. In the Jamaican police service it is called (exigencies of the service).Sargeant Henriques could have said no when he was called, upon which he would have faced disciplinary action. He chose to honor his oath, the next time his family saw him again was when they identified his body at the morgue. Sergeant Henriques and his colleagues were cut down in a hail of bullets on mountain view avenue as they tried to help stranded motorist. Wayne and other police officers who lost their lives will not be remembered by neither of the two political gangs which alternate in ripping off our country. They will not be remembered by the Editorial board of the news papers. They will not be honored by the lap-dogs at the top of the constabulary. And they damn sure will not be remembered by the criminal supporters at the foreign funded Jamaicans for Justice. The consolers and enablers of criminality in our country. We however will never let their sacrifice be for nought. We will never stop mentioning their names.
This massive crowd mostly clad in white , were not marching to be free from the tentacles of organized crime. They were marching , showing their support for a thug that came from a long line of thugs, who ruled their community with iron fists, doled out largess, and took advantage of their dependency. They knew no better, it is within those context police officers are forced to enforce Jamaican laws, with zero support from their political bosses. Political bosses who themselves have bloody hands.
Today Coke is gone but the problem remains, these same people are unemployed and some are unemployable, everyone has to eat and sleep somewhere. Unless government can offer the people what ghetto enforcers like Coke and others provided , the security forces will forever be seen as the enemy to be shot at and pilloried. Those with the benefit of hindsight will argue without any real knowledge that officers should take all precautions when they are shot at not to hurt innocent bystanders, this is paramount for all members of the security forces. As a former member who was on the frontlines, I am all too aware of the difficult nature of fighting a battle where the enemy observes no rules yet I am restrained at the peril of life in prison, if my split second decision of life and death is the incorrect one.
Policing inner city communities in Jamaica is comparable to the slums of Rio de Jenero Brasil, Bogata Columbia, Johannesburg South Africa, and the drug cartel controlled areas of Mexico. As such I must point out that in 10 years of service in the JCF and having been shot at countless times and having been involved in hundreds of high risk operations, and having being shot ,I was never issued with a ballistic vest. Officers are asked to police a people who demonstrably refuses to conform to the rule of law. There is ample evidence of members of iner city communities running toward officers doing their jobs and openly defying and jeering officers in an attempt to shield the men who shoot at officers. People in these communities, particularly women are active participants in the commission of serious crimes to include assaults which results in death of police officers. They remove weapons and spent shells from scenes of shootings creating the impression there was no shoot out .
Well meaning people who want to live their lives free from the scourge of crime would certainly like a country where cops do not carry guns.
We were at that place and what did we do? We started fighting our police officers, yes assaulting an officer in Jamaica became a sport. The same people who claim police aggression never opened their pie-holes to denounce those so-called (rude boys)who assaulted our officers and in many cases killed our officers. They were silent. The same frauds were silent then as they are now when the innocent are slaughtered. There are places where police can be less aggressive, Jamaica is not one of those places. Olof Palme of Sweden thought as Prime Minister he was immune from violence, he never knew what hit him.
Criminal supporting groups like JFJ is walking a fine line. They support murderers as a security measure, one day soon of the degenerates who did not receive the memo will bring reality painfully home to these frauds.
A Young colleague who went by the alias (fudge) was almost killed in Olympic gardens when an elderly woman grabbed him allowing her son to shoot him point-blank range early one morning. Fudge survived that bullet, the elderly woman was let go by Jamaican criminal loving judges, no consequence. The son was not that lucky, Officers did not allow a judge to let that would be cop-killer walk free. When the monday morning quarterbacks are doing with their pontificating, talking as if they know something about being police officer in Jamaica, let them volunteer to ride with cops for a week. guaranteed they would piss whatever they are wearing, and that includes the grandstanding Zealots in the public defenders office, INDECOM, JFJ, the village lawyers in the media and whichever rock they live under.
Has anyone noticed that the criminal supporting group JFJ never make mention of the weapons that are recovered from hoodlums in the west Kingston shoot out, or any other? Do you know why they make no mention of the weapons taken off the streets? Because it would delegitimize their arguments! Jamaica is a pretentious society that pretends we have a stable democracy. As we saw in 2010 with the killing of law enforcement officers and the burning of police station,there are elements within the society who are quite willing to take on the Jamaican state. Make no mistake they are not common criminals. When someone picks up a weapon against the state that act becomes treasonous. Any country serious about the rule of law would prosecute these offenders and those who support them to the full extent of the law. The fact of the matter is, Jamaica despite what the criminal supporters tell you, is not an ordinary place . Police doing their jobs there do not do so within the frame-work of normal policing, there are a series of situations that makes the paradigm different.To include. Terrain ,types of weapons,types of criminals, mentality of the people being policed.
In developed countries when a person/persons decide to use the kind of force that is used by Jamaican criminals , and the weapons they use comes into play. Police use overwhelming force, and the first shot they get that threat is neutralized. Those who pontificate as if the know something , do not know what they are talking about. It’s always easy to sit and Monday-morning quarter back , something Jamaicans are very good at doing. Everyone has an opinion, irrespective of their lack of knowledge, they are willing to offer an opinion notwithstanding.
Having left the JCF I wondered, “why did I risk my life to serve”? Then I consoled myself “I did not serve because I loved the ingrates, I served because I love my country”. We will never surrender to criminal thugs or their supporters. If the battle needs to be elevated to another level , then that may be what people will have to do. The people of Columbia took back their country, we will take back our country.
SUBMITTED HERE FOR YOUR INFORMATION IS THE MOST RECENT NARCOTICS CONTROL STRATEGY REPORT RELEASED TO THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS:
The 2012 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report (INCSR) has raised grave worries about Jamaica’s progress in drug fighting.
The report was submitted today to the United States Congress.
The report notes that the Commissioner of Police faces internal, judicial, and political roadblocks that are hindering reforms mandated by Jamaica’s 2007 Police Strategic Review Implementation Plan.
But the document notes that the Commissioner has taken a strong public stance against corruption, and is continuing to implement and expand the plan.
It also claims that high-profile organized crime gangs continued to successfully operate within Jamaica and gang leaders are often afforded community and, in some cases, police protection.
The INCSR reviews conditions in the major illicit drug-producing countries, the major drug-transit countries, and the major source countries for precursor chemicals used in the production of illicit narcotics. In addition, the INCSR discusses conditions in the major money-laundering countries.
This is the 29th edition of the annual report to Congress and covers the calendar year 2011.
See full report on Jamaica below.
Jamaica continues to be the largest Caribbean supplier of marijuana to the United States. Although cocaine and synthetic drugs are not produced locally, Jamaica is a transit point for drugs trafficked from South America to North America. Drug production and trafficking are both enabled and accompanied by organized crime, domestic and international gang activity, and police and government corruption. The gun trade for illicit drugs exacerbates the problem as undocumented handguns are moved into the country in exchange for drugs.
Drugs flow into, through and from Jamaica in small boats and large vessels (both inside the vessel and in parasite containers attached to the hull), as contraband carried by ship and aircraft passengers, within shipping containers, and to a limited degree by private aircraft. Most drugs leaving Jamaica are bound for North America. However, some amounts of marijuana and cocaine are smuggled from Jamaica into England, Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands, either using personal couriers, cargo on commercial aircraft, or by inserting the drugs into shipping containers that pass through Kingston’s busy container terminal and continue onto Europe.
Factors that contribute to drug trafficking are the country’s convenient position as a point for narcotics being trafficked from Latin America; its lengthy, rugged and difficult-to-patrol coastline; a high volume of tourist travel by individuals and private boats; its status as a major transshipment point for shipping containers between Asia, Latin America, Europe and Africa; and, a struggling economy that encourages cultivation of marijuana in remote swamps and mountain areas.
Law enforcement authorities are moderately effective in combating illicit trafficking with competent and dedicated leadership, but their efforts are undercut by a slow and marginally effective criminal justice system, a lack of sufficient resources, and corruption. Jamaican law stipulates that possession or use of cocaine; heroin, marijuana, and ecstasy are illegal and subject to criminal and civil penalties. The illegitimate possession of precursor chemicals is also prohibited by law.
Jamaica is a signatory to the 1988 UN Drug Convention.
B. Drug Control Accomplishments, Policies, and Trends
1. Institutional Development
Cooperation remains strong between the Governments of Jamaica and the United States in an effort to curb narcotics and related transnational crime. The United States’ primary partners are the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF), Jamaica Customs, and the Ministry of Finance’s Financial Investigation Division.
The Jamaican government and the United States have a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (MLAT) that assists in evidence sharing. Both governments have a reciprocal asset sharing agreement and a bilateral law enforcement agreement governing cooperation to stop the maritime flow of illegal drugs. Jamaica is a party to the Inter-American Convention on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters, the 1961 UN Single Convention as amended by the 1972 Protocol, the 1971 UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances, the 1988 UN Drug Convention, the 1996 Inter-American Convention Against Corruption, the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime and its three protocols, and the UN Convention Against Corruption. The Jamaican government has signed, but has not ratified, the Caribbean Regional Maritime Counterdrug Agreement.
The 1991 extradition treaty between the United States and Jamaica is actively and successfully used by the United States to extradite suspected criminals from Jamaica. Extradition requests are normally processed in a routine and efficient manner by Jamaican political and judicial authorities.
Realizing that fighting gangs, drugs, and transnational crime begins at the community level, the JCF increased community-based policing (CBP) efforts with U.S. support. CBP is now the official policy of the JCF and is incorporated into pre-service training for all police recruits. The CBP program spread from three pilot communities in 2008 to 360 communities in 2011. Of the JCF’s 8,444 front line officers, 5,609 received training in CBP practices with the remainder scheduled for training. Civilian acceptance of CBP is facilitated through programs such as a safe schools program and youth civic engagement.
The Commissioner of Police faces internal, judicial, and political roadblocks that hinder reforms mandated by Jamaica’s 2007 Police Strategic Review Implementation Plan. The Commissioner has taken a strong public stance against corruption, is continuing to implement and expand the plan, and has made steady progress toward institutional reform. However, it is unclear whether the Commissioner will secure continued legislative and executive support, both in funding and political backing, to make significant and enduring progress in combating police corruption and transforming the institution.
2. Supply Reduction
Marijuana is grown in all fourteen parishes of Jamaica. An estimated 15,000 hectares (37,000 acres) of marijuana is generally found in areas inaccessible to vehicular traffic on small plots in mountainous areas and along the tributaries of the Black River in Saint Elizabeth parish. The JCF and JDF employ teams of civilian cutters to cut growing plants and who are escorted by the military or police. Teams seize seedlings and cured marijuana and burn them in the field. Jamaican law prohibits the use of herbicides, and only manual eradication is conducted.
Eradication of marijuana (cannabis, seedlings, seeds, and nurseries) increased from 2010: 707 hectares of cannabis were eradicated; 1,900,630 seedlings destroyed and 480 kilos of seeds destroyed in 2011 when compared to 447 hectares, 956,300 seedlings and 255 kilos of seeds in 2010. Additional progress in eradication efforts is hindered by the Jamaican government’s fiscal constraints and the unavailability of JDF aircraft to locate marijuana fields and transport personnel to the remote areas where the crops are grown.
Jamaica prohibits the manufacture, sale, transport, and possession of ecstasy, methamphetamine, and regulates the precursor chemicals used to produce them. Jamaica does not produce precursor chemicals or other chemical substances and, relies on countries exporting goods to conform to international standards governing export verification. The importation and sale of pharmaceutical products and chemical substances are regulated and reinforced with fines or imprisonment. Other controls exist to monitor the usage of pharmaceutical products and chemical substances including register controls, inspections, and audits.
Smugglers continued to use maritime shipping containers, ships, small boats, aircraft and couriers to move drugs from and through Jamaica to the United States. Seizures of marijuana-related products improved in 2011, with 47,691 kilos of cannabis and 170 kilos of hash oil in 2011, compared to 39,291 kilos and 121 kilos in 2010, respectively, although hashish decreased to 9 kilos in 2011 from 13 in 2010. Seizures of cocaine increased to 552 kilos in 2011 from 176 kilos in 2010, though crack cocaine dropped to 1.3 kilos in 2011 from 5.98 in 2010.
High- profile organized crime gangs continued to successfully operate within Jamaica. Gang leaders are often afforded community and, in some cases, police protection. Nevertheless, drug-related arrests increased to 20,216 in 2011, compared to 10,255 in 2010.
3. Drug Abuse Awareness, Demand Reduction, and Treatment
The JCF reports that marijuana is used by nine percent of the population, making it the most abused illicit drug among Jamaicans, while cocaine abuse reached a plateau of less than 0.1 percent of the population over the last 10 years. There is evidence that new drugs, such as heroin and ecstasy, entered the Jamaican domestic market in small amounts.
To combat the use of illicit drugs, the Ministry of Health’s National Council on Drug Abuse (NCDA) was established by statute in 1982. NCDA field officers provide support to the primary care system through the assessment of substance abusers in the mental health system. Also, the Jamaican government’s National Health Fund (NHF) established and funded 18 community medical clinics across the island, primarily through faith- based institutions, that provide primary treatment services with referrals to hospitals, clinics, physicians, psychologists, and psychiatrists. The clinics provide drug-related counseling and trauma services.
The Jamaican government operates one detoxification center located at the University Hospital of the West Indies in Kingston. In collaboration with the Organization of American States Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD), Jamaica offers a university-level certificate program in drug addiction and drug prevention. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) works directly with the Jamaican government and NGOs on demand reduction; however, due to limited resources, these programs have little impact.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) regulates pharmaceuticals, including the importation of pseudoephedrine, both in powder and final product forms. The NCDA, the Pharmacy Council, and the MOH work to expand awareness among health professionals about the potential danger of pseudoephedrine and ephedrine when they are diverted to produce methamphetamine. The NCDA collaborates with other non-profit organizations to provide non-residential drug counseling services.
As a matter of policy, the Jamaican government does not encourage or facilitate illegal activity associated with drug trafficking; nor are any senior Jamaican officials known to engage in such activity. Nevertheless, corruption of public officials continues to be a major concern to the Jamaican and U.S. governments as well as most Jamaicans. The law penalizes official corruption; however, corruption is entrenched, widespread, and compounded by a judicial system that is poorly equipped to handle complex criminal prosecutions in a timely manner.
Corruption undermines efforts against drug and other major crimes and is a major factor in allowing the passage of drugs and drug proceeds through Jamaica. An improving anti-corruption stance within Jamaican customs enforcement, the JCF, the Jamaica Tax Administration, and the Office of the Contractor General has shown encouraging signs. Additionally, the USAID-supported National Integrity Action Forum helped focus increased public and government attention on anti-corruption reforms.
The Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) of the JCF has shown success in identifying and removing officers engaged in corruption. Since the ACB’s inception in 2008, 319 JCF personnel have been dismissed for unethical or corrupt behavior, with 69 of those dismissed in 2011. Another 44 officers faced criminal corruption charges during the year. The JCF’s success is due partly to mechanisms that allow it to dismiss corrupt or unethical officers when evidence is insufficient to justify criminal prosecution. For example, the JCF requires high level police officers to sign employment contracts that improve accountability and facilitate speedy dismissal for corrupt or unethical behavior. Vetting and a polygraph examination are also required for promotions into key positions.
The JDF has been effective in identifying and responding to corruption within its ranks. The JDF, while not immune from corruption, takes swift disciplinary action when warranted in furtherance of its zero tolerance policy.
A bill creating an Anti-Corruption Special Prosecutor is being considered by Parliament, but no action is expected soon. Efforts by legislators from both political parties to dilute the effectiveness of the measure threaten its prospective impact on curbing government corruption. There has not been legislative action to create a National Anti-corruption Agency, which is required by the Inter-American Convention against Corruption to which Jamaica is a signatory.
C. National Goals, Bilateral Cooperation, and U.S. Policy Initiatives Supporting Jamaica’s transformation into a more secure, democratic, and prosperous partner represents a major U.S. policy goal. Narcotics trafficking, corruption, and crime undermine the rule of law, democratic governance, economic growth, and the quality of life for all Jamaicans. In response, the United States is working to enhance the effectiveness and capacity of Jamaica’s law enforcement and criminal justice system. Within the fabric of all U.S. aid to Jamaica, beyond that relating only to law enforcement and justice, is the acknowledgement that success depends on a comprehensive approach that recognizes the link between drugs, gangs, organized crime, poverty, unemployment, lack of educational opportunities and government corruption.
The U.S. support to combat narcotics production and trafficking in Jamaica includes training, equipment and logistical assistance to the JCF and JDF. For example, funding supports continued marijuana eradication operations, logistical support to the JDF Coast Guard and JCF Marine Division for interdiction of narcotics trafficking in coastal waters, and enhancement of border security at air and sea ports for Jamaica Customs. Additional support focuses on specialized JCF units that target narcotics and gangs, on JCF crime scene investigative and forensic analysis capacity, and on training for prosecutors involved in prosecuting narcotics, corruption and financial crimes. Indirect support for counternarcotics efforts is furnished through the development of effective community-police relations, improvement of JCF training facilities, and anti-corruption initiatives within the JCF, plus education and workforce development programs targeting at-risk youth who are susceptible to narcotics and gang influence.
The primary source of U.S. funding in support of law enforcement and justice reform is through the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative (CBSI), which contains both bilateral and regional funding mechanisms. The programming of regional funds is guided by technical working groups comprised of representatives from participating Caribbean countries. The regional component of CBSI is instrumental in achieving U.S. goals in Jamaica because the challenges it faces are largely shared by Caribbean neighbors.
Through essentially solid democratic institutions and the efforts of strong leaders within the government, Jamaica is making slow, but steady progress in combating the criminal scourges that plague the country’s political, economic and social well-being, namely the illicit trafficking of narcotics and firearms, violent crime, corruption, gangs and organized crime. Carefully targeted U.S. support, combined with efforts from other international partners – in particular Canada, the United Kingdom and the European Union – is helping to make a difference in that battle.
Success stories can be found in JCF efforts to root out corruption through its ACB, by its initiative to inoculate communities from crime and gang influence using community -based policing, and with specialized JCF vetted units attacking narcotics and gangs. Successes are also found within the offices of INDECOM, the Financial Investigation Division and the Contractor General, where competent, dedicated and vetted personnel are struggling with limited resources to turn the tide against police killings, financial crime and government corruption.
Despite encouraging signs within Jamaica’s law enforcement agencies, progress is less evident within Jamaica’s criminal justice system as a whole. The judicial branch remains ill-equipped to handle a large number of criminal cases and prosecutorial efficacy is also lacking. As a result, there are a large number of government corruption cases for awaiting prosecution, and convictions are few as the cases may be put off for years without result.
Future U.S. efforts should continue to sustain the momentum gained within Jamaica’s law enforcement agencies, particularly in the areas of maritime security, corruption, gangs and organized crime. The United States should focus enhanced support and pressure for demonstrable progress by prosecutors and the courts in moving criminal suspects through the criminal justice system.