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The Roots Of Jamaica's Deadly Violence

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They [the dons] no longer relied solely on governmental patronage and resources to control their garrisons. The garrison economics was driven by the drug trade and culture at home in the form of the exportation of marijuana and partnering with the Columbian drug cartels to move cocaine through Jamaica on to London, New York and other destinations. Gun smuggling became another lucrative part of gang operations and violent, deadly rivalries spilled over in New York, Miami, London and Los Angeles as Jamaican gangs (called posses) became local enforcers for Latin American gangs, mules and money launders, gun smugglers and contract killers.

Today, the violence in Jamaica's garrison communities is characterized by a confrontation of two opposing violent forces: the well-armed, determined crime organization hell-bent on protecting its "president" and the legally armed coercive arm of the Jamaican state in the form of the army and police. For the Jamaican armed forces it is all about holding ground and eliminating a deadly social cancer. For the don and his soldiers it is about keeping a segment of Jamaica's population in modern day slavery where control is exerted by the crudest forms of jungle justice and contempt for the rule of law. Jamaica's government, if it is serous, is now presented with an excellent opportunity to finally rid Jamaican society of this deadly disease that has been left to metastasize for way too long. But I'm not holding my breadth on this one.

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MICHAEL D. ROBERTS is a top Political Strategist and Business, Management and Communications Specialist in New York City's Black community. He is an experienced writer whose specialty is socio-political and economic analysis and local (more...)

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