Archive for the ‘violence’ Tag
A politician in Jamaica who has actually been saying something meaningful is the education minister, Andrew Holness. He has been visiting Olympic Gardens – a ghetto commnunity in Kingston and saying stuff about trying to give kids an alternative to a life of crime by teaching them to read and write at the very least.
Literacy rates in the area are currently only about 40-50 per cent and he says he’s committed to getting this up to a 100 per cent in 5 years.
So what would it take to actually achieve this? Money of course, for school equipment like computers – groups like Teens for Technology have been doing stuff to make this happen.
But something that the minister cannot control but which hinders education terribly, is the violence. Fear that kids have is real and a complete distraction, preventing them from going to school sometimes and not being able to concentrate when this is the backdrop to study.
Then there are the role models in the community – shottas are the ones that are talked about and who command respect and often have money to get what they want. They also have the influence to recruit the next generation coming up behind them. In this context, the goal Holness has set for himself is pretty unrealistic but let’s see him try and do something at least.
Major sporting event in JA, attracting lots of press attention from around the world see here and part of the global highlights on BBC World Service where they are saying…
The 100th Anniversary of Jamaica’s national schools athletics Champs is taking place. BBC Sports World will come from Jamaica.
The BBC Caribbean Service and World Service Sports have pulled the expertise together to cover this event which launched Usain Bolt. We may be able to spot Usain Bolt of 2012.
So very sad to see this which reports how there have been two stabbings so far and that there is an increase in violence in schools as the pressure mounts up as the Champs draws near. I have blogged about violence in schools before here see that post.
The start of DeMarco’s track True friend goes, “
Demarco dem seh yo, yuh a deportee (haha)
Dem seh yuh come from foreign an yuh nahave nuh money
Yuh bruck like dog (haha)
Dem seh yuh a iron balloon
Yo dem seh yuh nah reach nuh weh (haha)
He may have been deported, and broke, but at least he didn’t come back as a criminal. There are many that do, from the UK these Jamaicans are sometimes put into projects that are aimed at trying to stop the cycle of crime. From the UK’s point of view, it’s about trying to stop Jamaican criminals ending up in the UK and also I think it’s a sweetener for JA to handle the problem rather than them burdening the UK prisoner population.
Whatever the motivation, it’s a good thing.
Here’s a quote from a young guy who was caught up in a cycle of crime and violence, ” it’s only when you call the shots that you can begin to hush the guns”.
So they’ve been trying to “Hush the Guns” with young guys in Tower Hill and Tower street correctional centre for the last 3 years. Has it been working?
There was a lot of money ploughed into all this, 129 million JA dollars (1.4 m US dollars) , now funding looks like it’s ooming to an end.
If you were a gangster, controlling a group of young shottas, dominating a community in the deprived ghetto areas of Kingston, Jamaica, if you were profiting from a nice income from extortion or drug running – where would you lay your sleepy head every night?
According to this report, the top men are residing, not under the zinc roof in seaview gardens or jungle where they rule the roost – oh no – they’re laying low uptown. Enjoying the cool breeze in the hills. Hope Pastures, Jack’s Hill, Cherry Gardens.
I can’t say I blame them. Escaping the likelihood of getting shot in a police raid. Or from a rival gang’s bullets. Not to mention the lack of adequate sanitation and room size. If you could escape all that of course you would. It’s just a shame that the ordinary people blighted by gang warfare can’t move themselves and their young children away from it.
The number of people murdered in Jamaica in 2008 reached 1600.
That’s the second highest total ever recorded. 2005 saw more people killed – 1,674 was the total then. Read about 2005 totals here.
There were 1,574 murders reported in 2007, a 17 per cent rise on 2006. More details on those figures here.
One of the final murders in 2008 was a pregnant woman who was apparently shot over an argument about the whereabouts of an illegal gun. She and two others were taken out of the car they were driving in and shot several times. See full details of that shooting here.
I thought this photo of a woman shot on the street with her unfinished fizzy drink beside her while people around look on shows the reality of what these figures amount to. It has now become something that people become immune to and expect to see. Unless you are directly related to the person lying there, it’s easy to feel detached. While the fear means that more and more people stay indoors, they keep their houses, their mouths and their eyes tightly bound shut.
Bruce Golding is claiming success in his policies and says he’s going to improve the justice system – if it wasn’t so tragic it would be seriously laughable.