Jamaica: Grown wild in Tivoli Gardens / Christopher Caldwell

There are only 2.8m people in Jamaica and last year 1,660 of them were murdered. That is more killings than were committed in the UK, which is 20 times Jamaica’s size. Annually, about one in every thousand Jamaican males meets a violent end. For Jamaican crime to reach the front pages of most of the world’s newspapers, as it did this week, requires mayhem of alarming dimensions.
Seventy-three people have been killed and 500 arrested since troops moved into the Tivoli Gardens neighbourhood of Kingston more than a week ago to
arrest alleged drugs kingpin Christopher “Dudus” Coke and deport him to stand trial in the US. The Jamaica Observer columnist Mark Wignall described the
events as “the most important crossroads in the modern history of our development”. But this is a crossroads in the history of globalisation, too.
Jamaica’s problems are shared with, and partly caused by, other countries, even if this week’s constitutional crisis belongs to Jamaica alone. At this
writing, Mr Coke has not been found. SEE MORE…
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