Thu | Jun 20, 2024

How do we fix this mayhem?

Published:Friday | January 21, 2022 | 12:08 AM


In 1976, I was eagerly awaiting my return to Jamaica after an absence of some years living in the United Kingdom.

I then read this article titled: ‘Holiday island hit by murder wave’. That “60 lives this year” were lost between January and May 1976.

Upon reading it, I was a little scared about coming back, but decided nonetheless to come. I suspected that this British tabloid, Evening Standard (Friday, May 14, 1976) was biased against Jamaica, as were several other media outlets .

So I did come to JA and when I arrived, a state of emergency was in place because of the political violence on the island at the time.

However, I spent some three months in the country and had a pretty good time, despite some curfew restrictions in places. But despite the state of emergency, I travelled around the island, and also attended the Carifesta celebrations that were in progress in places like Kingston and Montego Bay.

Since that first return to Jamaica, I’ve made many other trips to the country; and even lived and worked there for a time.

But, I must admit that although I had down played that British newspaper report at the time, I knew of a fact that there was this deep underbelly of violence in Jamaica. This propensity to violence, sadly, has gotten worse over the last 46 years; and, as you know, in 2021 some 1,463 murders were committed in our beautiful country.

Puzzlingly, this bloodletting continues, for The Gleaner reported on January 17 that “... Jamaica has recorded two consecutive weeks of 30-plus murders since the start of the year, bringing the homicide tally to 72 as at January 15”.

So, the puzzle and mystery continue as to what is causing this increase in murders and other crimes in Jamaica? And what is to be done to correct the situation?

God only knows! But others might have some fixes for this mayhem.