Murder rate drops again…..Times they are a changing ?

Murder rate down again ! Yes !!!

The police announce that the murder rate has fallen for the 5th month in the row.

Now that we have gotten used to the idea that crime can be/will be brought under control we should remember how far we have to go.

Our murder rate is so high (579 murders for January-May 2006 down from 722 murders between January-May 2005) that right now we are talking a drop from 4-5 murders per day to 3-4 murders per day… Not all that much to celebrate now we think about it, but we're on the right track, and all kudos to the Minister, the Commissioner and the Brits.

We need to support the police and each other, even if all of us can't quite manage this.

The role of the family and the government in preventing young men from becoming gunmen continues to preoccupy our local pundits. I think its important to remember that only a small number of Jamaican men are unemployed (about 7%) and, while creating jobs is always a good idea, many of those who become gunmen would not likely take jobs paying them less than they "earn" from being "shottas."

And remember, becoming a gunman is about instant status. It is about choosing to live as an outlaw regardless (remember Bernard Provenzano, Italy's most wanted mafioso, was living in a barn when he was caught…not exactly the lifestyle of the rich and famous…..) and the shotta life appeals to those who have no chance of being 50 Cent (media outlaw) much less Don Crawford of Century National Bank (white collar outlaw)…..

"Killing Pablo : The Hunt for the World's Greatest Outlaw" (Mark Bowden)

"Wanted! The Outlaws" (Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Jessi Coulter, Tompall Glaser)

Meanwhile, in his contribution to the 25th anniversary of HIV/AIDS, the Pope announces that contraception is still banned (for Catholics) and, check this out, there is still NO occasion on which the use of condoms is permitted. Wow !

So all you Catholic wives out there ? You get to forgive your husband for straying and getting HIV/AIDS, and then you get your Mother Theresa moment when you allow him his conjugal rights without using a condom, get infected yourself, and if you get pregnant, also bear a child with HIV/AIDS !!!! With all due respect to the Pope, I don't think this is going to bring any sinners into the Church…….

Up north, President Bush decides that banning gay marriage will improve things (war in Iraq, inflation, gas prices etc). What is upsetting for Jamaicans is that President Bush is supporting the reform in immigration laws that most of us would like to see ( a route to citizenship for those already in the States), but he is so unpopular that it is difficult to imagine anything that he supports getting passed right now….or maybe ever….

The Washington Post is running a series on black men. Nothing new here. Like Jamaican men, black men in America have a perception problem (they are perceived as likely criminals, DJ's, basketball players), a "goat mouth" problem (whites say they're baaad, and, whoops, they are bad) and a woman problem (they like the women more than the women like them…)

"Mister Gumbo : Down and Dirty with Black Men on Life, Sex, and Relationships" (Ursula Inga Kindred, Mirranda Guerin-Williams)

"The Scorecard : How to Fix Your Man in One Year or Less" (Julie Bell, Donna Brown, Judith Newman)

The By- Election

Luther Buchanan and the Prime Minister
On by-election day in Eastern Westmoreland, the PNP emerge victorious. No surprise and no change there. Former Prime Minister P.J. Patterson is succeeded by Luther Buchanan in a safe PNP seat.

[posted with ecto]

2 thoughts on “Murder rate drops again…..Times they are a changing ?

  1. We have plans to come to Jamaica in January. Several people are telling us it is extrememly dangerous and we are risking our lives, that we should pay the extra money to change our tickets, and go somewhere else. What am I suppose to do? Now when I check the internet for info, I read Jamaica has 3-4 murders PER DAY! And thats DOWN from normal? As tourists, we are not content to stay within the confines of a resort. Will I really be endangering the lives of my children if we hire someone to take us around Montego Bay and the rest of the island? Can it really be all that bad? Please say no.

  2. According to the last stats (October 2006) some 3 million tourists , most of them from the United States, visited Jamaica in the past 12 months. Our population is 2.7 million, so you can figure that we must be doing something right to have more visitors than residents….. Jamaica’s murder rate is mostly fed by drug and gang violence in inner city communities, and most visitors will not see any evidence of it. That said, you should take the same precautions you would take in visiting Washington, D.C. or New York – you would ensure that any guide you choose has bona fides and checks out with your hotel and the local police. You do NOT go on a tour with someone you meet on the beach who “seems friendly”…..

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