• ccn-logo_0

    DETECTIVES from the Montego Bay CIB are probing the circumstances surrounding the killing of five people in the second city this morning.

    Dead are 20 year-old Cornel Brown and Elton Hines, 23, both of Bird Hill, Salt Spring in the parish; Damion Brooks and 20-year-old Byron Powell, whose addresses are not known; and a fifth person who is yet to be identified.

    Information received from the police is that about 5:30 am, residents called them to Bird Hill district after discovering the bodies of Brown and Hines. Investigators who went to the area inspected the bodies and realised they had gunshot wounds. About 500 metres from that location, the charred remains of Brooks, Powell and the unidentified person were found among the rubble of a burnt house.

  • supt_-derrick_knight

    THEIR TONGUES have been muted by years of fear and terror, so now, the silent cries of the people of Waterhouse in St Andrew for an end to bloodshed and violence go unheard. Sad eyes tell their stories.

    They have seen it all – the ghastly effects of gang warfare – for more than 40 years. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of lives snuffed out by the gun; families shattered; a community splintered into factions.

    Today, the scars are there for all to see, in a terrible culture of violence that has become entrenched in the community.

    In a bitterly divided community, the people of the area continue to fall by the bullet, while others look on helplessly, as gangsters from one section of a street continue to be engaged in bitter combat with the other section.

    (Source: The Sunday Gleaner.) Read full story here:

  • shaw2_0

    Opposition In The Dark – Davies, Bunting Say Information Out Of Government Not Detailed Enough

    HE PARLIAMENTARY Opposition yesterday said it refrained from offering a more detailed package of solutions when it contributed to the Budget Debate because it was in the dark about the country’s macroeconomic situation.

    At the same time, Dr Omar Davies, who is the opposition spokesman on finance, has said the People’s National Party (PNP) is not impressed with the cherry-picking of proposals the Government made in the Budget Debate last year.

    “There was a sort of selective way in which it was treated. The only thing that was taken from it was related to the TEF, and we certainly don’t like the way in which it was adopted,” Davies said yesterday.

    Read full article here : http://www.jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20100420/lead/lead5.html

  • us-embassy_bruce

    THE United States White House and State Department declined yesterday to confirm or deny reports out of Washington that a career diplomat has been identified as ambassador-designate to Kingston.

    But impeccable Observer sources insisted that the person had been identified, though not announced, and that a career diplomat was deemed to be more desirable than a political appointee, in the frosty environment caused by the stand-off over Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke.

    Read full story here :

  • deportees

    JUST MORE than 3,000 deportees were sent back to Jamaica last year, with the vast majority heading to the parishes where crime is most rampant.

    Kingston, St Andrew, St James, St Catherine and Clarendon – which accounted for the majority of the 1,680 murders last year – were the final destinations for most of the people sent back to Jamaica, sparking more concern about the link between deportees and crime.

    Read full story here : http://www.jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20100415/lead/lead3.html

  • michael-manley-_w370

    US agents stream into Jamaica

    Move seen as effort to push ‘Dudus’ extradition

    AGENTS from two American intelligence-gathering organisations have descended on Jamaica in unusual numbers over the last six months in what political watchers believe is a move by the United States to add more muscle to its request for Jamaica to extradite Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke.

    A highly placed source told the Sunday Observer that some of the agents have been given strict instructions to pay close attention to three Government ministers, several members of the security forces, and two major downtown business operators.

    Sunday Observer sources say that a batch of 23 arrived in the island during the last three months to complement others already here.

    Yesterday, one source with knowledge of the country’s security operations said that a significant number of foreigners, believed to be US agents, arrived in the island last Wednesday at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston.

    “The flight arrived before midday,” said the source, who added that the agents were posing as tourists, consultants, business executives and other professionals.

    According to our sources, this is the latest tactic being used by the USA to have Jamaica extradite Coke, who a New York grand jury indicted last year on drug- and arms-trafficking charges.

    Former national security minister Dr Peter Phillips, in an interview yesterday, said he had no way of confirming the number of agents revealed by our source. However, he believes that it would be unusual for such a large number to arrive in one contingent.

    “We have always had agents from other agencies and other countries in Jamaica,” said Phillips. “I can’t confirm the numbers you have suggested, but Jamaica has been co-operating with other countries in the sharing of intelligence and it would not be strange for agents to be here.”

    According to Phillips, if the agents are operating in an “official” capacity, the receiving country would be informed through its Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

    “This is the way it is done, if a sending country perceives full co-operation between itself and a receiving country,” said Phillips. “The receiving country is informed because, for those who need to bear arms, permission would have to be granted. So there would be a need to know. And the receiving country would be notified before the agents arrive.”

    Phillips said agents from the United States’ Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) have operated in Jamaica, dating back several years.

    “This is not a new relationship. If there is a view that a country is hostile or unco-operative, they might not even be told about who is present. That information depends on the relationship between the countries,” said Phillips. “Under normal diplomatic postings, the foreign affairs ministry would know. But there are no guarantees that if hostility is perceived, that they would inform a receiving country.”

    He said agents may use diplomatic cover, or they may simply be tourists.

    Attempts to get a comment from foreign ministry officials yesterday were unsuccessful.

    During the 1970s when the People’s National Party administration, headed by Michael Manley, declared itself a democratic socialist government and damaged Jamaica’s relations with America, CIA agents were active in Jamaica, fuelling many political fires. Some, operating as journalists, deliberately fed erroneous information to overseas media.

    Veteran calypsonian Lord Laro’s famous hit Foreign Press captured some of the sentiments at the time. So, too, did Manley in his book Struggle in the Periphery, in which he commented on what he termed psychological warfare and its effects.

    Yesterday, Phillips pointed out that Jamaica and the United States, as well as the United Kingdom, have co-operated on many issues, including the sharing of information to track criminals in transnational drug- and arms-trafficking.

    In addition, Jamaican security officials have, in the past, been placed abroad in intelligence capacities.

    However, Jamaica’s relationship with Washington has deteriorated significantly since the indictment of Coke last August, as the Bruce Golding administration has refused to act on the extradition request, arguing that the evidence gathered against Coke was obtained in breach of Jamaican law.

    When contacted, a spokeswoman in the DEA Office of Public Affairs in Washington said no one was available to provide information on the number of agents operating in Jamaica.

    She referred the newspaper to the local DEA office in Jamaica. However, the Sunday Observer was unable to obtain a contact for that office.

    (Source: The Sunday Observer, April 11, 2010

  • bunting-suit-portrait-3-sm

    Two and a half years into its term, an incisive midterm assessment of the Bruce Golding-led government’s performance in the area of national security reveals its absence of direction and resultant malfunctions.

    Unequivocally, the Golding administration’s performance in the area of national security can only be described as a colossal failure. Murders have increased from 1,583 in year 2007 to a record 1,680 in year 2009. For the first quarter of 2010 (up to March 28), the murder rate has increased by a shocking 17 per cent relative to the same period in the record year of 2009. It has moved from 338 to 395 for an additional 57 (or about five per week) lives lost this year. Major crimes have increased by 59 per cent over two years, from 7,444 in 2007 to 11,801 in 2009. For the first quarter of 2010, major crimes continue to grow by 5.5 per cent. There has been no coherent or consistent national security policy articulated or pursued by the administration since coming to office, and the high turnover of policy and operational leadership has either contributed to or, at the very least, compounded the problem.

    The statistics present one pillar of analysis. The labour and industrial relations issues affecting the national security portfolio provide another snapshot of malfunction. In less than three years, there have already been three ministers, three permanent secretaries, three commissioners of police, and three commissioners of corrections. Additionally, at present, the ministry has so many actors that it could be mistaken for Hollywood. The positions of commissioner of police, commissioner of corrections, permanent secretary and chief technical director all have ‘acting’ incumbents. The issues to do with salaries and condition of employment of the security officers remain tenuous. These circumstances are all due to failures in management.

    The performance of the minister of national security at the recent Standing Finance Committee symbolised the Government’s failures in this area. The minister was unable to give the customary overview of the ministry’s budget, suggesting that it was not a reflection of policy priorities but merely a bookkeeping exercise. In response to questions, neither he nor his team could provide any credible explanation to dramatic changes in budgetary allocations for various departments. This was understandable last year when Senator Nelson had just been appointed to the portfolio, but certainly is inexcusable one year later.

    Where is the National Security Policy?

    To the extent that a policy on national security can be discerned from the actions of the Golding administration, it appears to be a continuation of the failed, get-tough-crime-fighting approaches involving the formation and deployment of heavily armed squads of police who have, on numerous occasions, been implicated in gross violations of citizens’ rights.

    Up to March 21, police fatal shootings (63) are up by 91 per cent relative to 2009, and the ratio of fatal shootings to arrests have similarly almost doubled, indicating a greater use of lethal force by the police. The proposed anti-crime bills target legislative curtailment of rights, such as prolonged detention through restriction of access to bail rather than strengthening the community policing initiatives. For example, the community safety and security branch was allocated $176 million in the 2010-2011 estimates versus the $324 million in the estimates for 2009-2010.

    Frightening Realities

    The JLP government’s apparent determination to avoid the extradition of Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke to the United States is the most clear and corrosive signal to the society that the Government not only lacks the political will to combat organised crime, especially at the crime/politics nexus, but also that it places the importance of organised criminal gangs to its political machinery above the welfare of the rest of Jamaican society. The consequences of this are already becoming apparent and will only worsen with time if they continue on the same path.

    The economic consequences of the revocation of visas of businessmen and entertainers, together with other likely future restrictions, will have a serious negative impact on tourism, remittances, and the broader economy.

    The morale of the good police and military intelligence officers has been seriously weakened. They have been working on this extradition for many years and have been pilloried, rather than congratulated, for their efforts by members of the JLP administration. In contrast, the organised criminal gangs, particularly those with JLP affiliations, have now become emboldened as is suggested by the spiralling crime statistics.

    What the PNP would do differently

    The People’s National Party is committed to making Jamaica a safe and just society and our philosophical foundation – the Progressive Agenda – declares that crime control efforts must be disciplined by the rule of law, due process, and respect for individual rights and human dignity. This approach is central to our party’s democratic values; ones we continue to stand for. Of the raft of policy proposals being developed by the PNP, there are three areas the PNP would place its emphasis on.

    Governance Arrangements

    The Opposition recommended that the Government consider the establishment of an entirely new statutory body – currently being called the Police Management Authority (PMA) – and the Act to establish the PMA will contain all the matters relating to management and accountability of the police. This would, of course, require other legislative measures to transfer the functions of the Police Services Commission and the Police Civilian Oversight Authority to the new body. This proposal, if successfully implemented, would represent, perhaps, the most significant development in the evolution of our policing since the 19th century.

    Engendering Trust

    This dysfunctional feature of our culture has evolved over a long time and will take some time to turn around. However, it can be reversed. The police force and the political leadership must be in the vanguard of the change process. A paradigm shift must first occur in the emphasis of our policing activity to a focus on the creation of a police culture that will nurture and value a true partnership with the community and building a police leadership that embraces decentralisation of authority and full accountability.

    In this new paradigm, community policing will be the core philosophy of the standard operating departments of the police and only a minority of police personnel will be highly trained for a tiered response capability. They would be supported by the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) in these operations. Central to the PNP’s approach would be the understanding that effective crime reduction will only be sustained if it is based on the trust, confidence, and legitimacy of the police force.

    Targeting Organised Crime

    A deliberate policy of local law enforcement during the last PNP administration was to work co-operatively with international law enforcement partners to target transnational criminal dons for extradition to jurisdictions that have stronger law enforcement capacity than Jamaica. This does not represent a diminution of Jamaica’s sovereignty but a practical acknowledgement of the enormous resources available to the transnational criminals and our political commitment to getting them convicted by whatever legal means available. We will return to this policy.

    Because of the difficulty of getting witnesses to testify against organised criminals, technology needs to be employed more effectively in the collection and analysis of evidence (as well as more generally in the management of the police). Available technology can be employed in areas such as collection and analysis of DNA, computerised face identification programmes coupled with increased CCTV surveillance, and patrol vehicles with computers that have instant access to stored data. These are just some areas a PNP government would implement.

    We are increasingly aware that Jamaicans of all walks of life are frightened, worried and anxious. Crippling levels of fear, trepidation, insecurity and worry have compound the erosion of the quality of life experienced by the people of Jamaica, given the last two and a half years of this government’s economic policy. Halfway through its term, the Government has had enough time to proffer a national security policy, regulate the administrative issues in the ministry, its agencies and affiliates, raise the morale of the security forces and offer the people of Jamaica some semblance of order. Jamaica demands no less.

    Peter Bunting
    PNP General Secretary and Opposition Spokesman on National Security

    Source: The Sunday Gleaner, “In Focus”, April 11, 2010


  • guns


    The Joint Police/Military Task Force based at the Mobile Reserve seized 24 guns, 321 rounds of ammunition and 59 pounds of marijuana during operational initiatives carried out island wide between January 1 and March 31, this year.

    During this same period eight of Jamaica’s most wanted men were captured and 201 persons were charged for various crimes.

    The seizures and arrests were as a result of over 2900 operations carried out island wide by the unit. These included mobile patrols, cordons and searches, raids and vehicle check points.

    These operations are designed to stem the flow of crime by arresting wanted men and to target known gangs operating across the island.

    (Source: Constabulary Communication Network)

  • portia_0

    The Opposition People’s National Party (PNP) yesterday called for the resignation of attorney Harold Brady from all state boards, until the party gets a satisfactory explanation from the Government regarding his involvement with the American law firm Manatt, Phelps & Phillips.

    “We are demanding, until then, that Mr Brady be relieved of all his responsibilities and from membership of all boards,” PNP president Portia Simpson Miller said.

    At the same time, she said, the party was calling on the General Legal Counsel to investigate and to determinate whether Mr Brady’s actions constituted a breach of ethics of the legal profession warranting disciplinary action.

    Simpson Miller, who was speaking at a meeting of the party’s National Executive Council (NEC) at the Wexford Hotel in Montego Bay, said the Government was yet to “come clean” on Brady’s involvement with the law firm.

    Opposition member Dr Peter Phillips had raised questions in the House of Parliament about whether the Government had engaged the services of the Manatt, Phelps & Phillips to deal with extradition or other matters between the US and Jamaica.

    But Prime Minister Bruce Golding has maintained that the Government has no arrangement with the US law firm.

    And Brady has denied that he acted on behalf of Government in dealings with the company.

    But at a press conference last Wednesday, the Opposition asked the Government a raft of questions regarding its dealings with the firm.

    Among them was: On what basis did the solicitor general (Douglas Leys) believe it was appropriate for private foreign citizens — in the persons of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips — to be involved in a meeting between the Government of Jamaica and the Government of the United States discussing sensitive and confidential matters?

    Yesterday, Simpson Miller told the NEC that since the issue was raised by the PNP, explanations on the matter had been “found wanting”, while the prime minister’s intervention lacked credibility, and raised “more questions than answers”.

    She added that the solicitor general’s “position” had been “seriously compromised” since he allowed representatives of the law firm to sit in on the discussions with the United States State Department.

    “We are therefore demanding that the country be clearly and truthfully told the position on the matter, and that the Government comes clean. The people are demanding that,” Simpson Miller told the cheering NEC members.

  • secdeb08

    THE Opposition People’s National Party (PNP) yesterday asked the Government to say if Kingston’s ambassador to Washington, Anthony Johnson, and Solicitor General Douglas Leys were aware of the controversial contract on ‘extradition’ matters with the US law firm Manatt, Phelps and Phillips.

    The PNP, at a press conference yesterday at its Old Hope Road headquarters in Kingston, alleged that it would have been unlikely for a such a contract to exist without the knowledge of Johnson and Leys.

    PNP spokesman Peter Phillips told reporters that it would have been a “serious dereliction of duty on someone’s part” if such a contract was signed with the Jamaican Government without informing the ambassador and the solicitor general.

    “It would be a serious dereliction of duty for the Embassy not to have reported it back to head office,” Phillips added.

    Phillips, in Parliament last week, said there was information on the website of the US Justice Department regarding a contract between Manatt, Phelps and Phillip and the Government of Jamaica, which he said named noted attorney-at-law Harold Brady as acting on behalf of the Jamaican Government.

    The Government said it was not a client of the US law firm, while Brady has denied acting on behalf of the Jamaican Government.

    However, Phillips yesterday asked the Government to say:

    * On what basis did the solicitor general believe it was appropriate for private foreign citizens — in the persons of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips — to attend a meeting between the Government of Jamaica and the Government of the United States involving highly sensitive and confidential issues?

    * Was the Ambassador of Jamaica to the United States in Washington present at any of the meetings held between the solicitor general and the United States Government authorities at which private foreign citizens from Manatt, Phelps & Phillips were also present?

    * The question further arises, was the Jamaican Ambassador to the United States in Washington aware that Manatt, Phelps & Phillips were stating that they represent the Government of Jamaica and did he report this to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade or anyone else in the Government of Jamaica?

    * On what basis would Manatt, Phelps & Phillips have been convinced that they were representing the Government of Jamaica and could so declare to the Justice Department of the United States Government, which continues to report this fact on their website even up to today?

    * Did representatives of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips meet with officials of the Government of Jamaica other than the solicitor general? If so, with whom, when and where?

    * What steps has the Government of Jamaica taken to clear the record with the US Justice Department to indicate that Manatt, Phelps & Phillips is not a representative of the Government of Jamaica?

    * Who paid the US$49,892.62 that Manatt, Phelps & Phillips reports to have been paid for services rendered?

    * Is it mere coincidence that the date on which the first diplomatic note was sent from the Government of Jamaica to the United States Government requesting additional information concerning the extradition request happens to be the same date on which payment was made to Manatt, Phelps & Phillips for services rendered, which Manatt, Phelps & Phillips maintains was paid on behalf of the Government of Jamaica?

    * If it is true, as the Government of Jamaica claims, that Manatt Phelps & Phillips does not represent them, who then is the real client of Manatt Phelps & Phillips?

    Source – The Observer

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