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Commentary: Is Jamaica Violent or Not?

Commentary With Winston Barnes

SOUTH FLORIDA – A heated debate is underway in the wake of a statement made by a CNN Anchor in regards to Jamaica. Two American missionaries were killed two weekends ago and the news person said, “Jamaica is an extraordinarily violent place”.         

The response by many Jamaicans at home and in the Diaspora has been to compare Jamaica’s violence with what occurs in places like New York and Miami.

Wrong reaction!

Jamaica is not either of those places. Jamaica is Jamaica and the violence attached to crime is but a fraction of the violence which takes place on a daily basis across the country.

South Camp Prison in Kingston, Jamaica.
South Camp Prison in Kingston, Jamaica

I have long been one of those who seek to explain that much of the violence in Jamaica is related to the drug trade, and of recent vintage, the lottery scam. That continues to be true but as observers in Jamaica point out, the inter-personal violence in Jamaica is incredibly rampant and pernicious.

Maybe if Jamaicans called out the violence in the society it will not come as a major shock when the foreign press scandalizes it.

When a man who skips someone in a line and when reprimanded basically says, “that could get the other person killed”, that is a sure sign of a violent culture.

The very ways in which Jamaicans drive on the road is violent. When a man chops of his woman’s head and takes it to the police station, that is a sign of a violent society.

CNN might have scandalized Jamaica but smack in the middle of the scandal is the absolute truth. The outcomes from person to person relationships confirm that Jamaica is extraordinarily violent.


Winston Barnes Host – “Open Line” WAVS 1170AM Photo Credit: Leroy “Dreamy” Riley
Winston Barnes Host – “Open Line” WAVS 1170AM
Photo Credit: Leroy “Dreamy” Riley

Voice your opinion on the “Open Line” with Winston Barnes daily on WAVS 1170AM, listen on-line





South Florida Caribbean News

The Team provides news and information for the Caribbean-American community in South Florida and beyond.

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