One Response to “Jamaica: Families Against State Terrorism”

In the light of the Wikileaks report on “Collateral Murder” in Iraq the Jamaican Minister of National Security’s use of the term “collateral damage” to refer to the deaths described in Ms Sobers’s article is indeed ironic. “Collateral” is one of those dehumanised terms that suggest integral and unavoidable, if sometimes regrettable, by-products of an action. We in Jamaica have become so terrorised by criminals that the society as a whole has come to accept extra-judicial executions as a necessary price of our security. But what happens, as Ms Sobers points out, if the innocent fatality is a son, father, husband, boyfriend, close relative or friend? Is this acceptable “collateral damage”? And what happens when hundreds are killed, year after year, with impunity? Is this “collateral damage” or “collateral murder”? There are several well-informed reports and recommendations produced by high-level, expert committees on addressing Jamaica’s crime problem in an effective and sustainable way while respecting the human rights of citizens. The question to ask why is it that these proposals have never been fully and comprehensively implemented. A political scientist would say that there must be powerful interests that are being served by the current way of doing things. Ms Sobers’s efforts deserve our full support.


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