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Jamaica: US State Department Issues Urgent Travel Warning After 65 Murders in Four Weeks

January 31, 2024

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The US State Department has issued a grave travel warning for Jamaica, revealing a harrowing surge of 65 murders in just four weeks. The embassy in Jamaica elevated the travel advisory to Level 3, signaling a “reconsider travel” status, a mere step away from the most severe caution against any travel.

Disturbingly, the pervasive crimes have reached the confines of resorts, shattering the illusion of safety for tourists. The warning highlights a disturbing trend of violent crimes including home invasions, armed robberies, sexual assaults, and homicides, with sexual assaults occurring even within all-inclusive resorts.

The advisory underscores the inadequacies in the local law enforcement response, citing ineffective measures in handling serious criminal incidents. Arrests, when made, often lead to infrequent prosecutions, leaving victims and their families in prolonged periods of uncertainty.

Jamaica has been grappling with one of the highest homicide rates in the Western Hemisphere for several years, and the latest data from the Jamaica Constabulary Force paints a grim picture. Shockingly, the reported 65 murders between January 1 and 27 mark a slight decrease from the same period last year when 81 lives were lost.

The country’s struggle against rampant violence is not a recent phenomenon. In 2023, Jamaica reported at least 1,393 homicides, following 1,498 murders in 2022. The nation has consistently reported over 1,000 murders annually since 2003, underscoring a longstanding issue that demands urgent attention.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As the travel advisory unfolds, it comes on the heels of a similar caution for the Bahamas, emphasizing an unsettling trend in the Caribbean. The Bahamas, grappling with 18 murders in January, primarily driven by gang violence, received a Level 2 warning from the US embassy, urging visitors to “exercise increased caution.”

 

 

Credit: New York Post

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