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The United States on Friday issued a travel alert for Jamaica on developing security concerns in the Kingston area.
The Department of State said “possibility exists for violence and/or civil unrest in the greater Kingston metropolitan area. There are unconfirmed reports of criminal gang members amassing in the Kingston area, as well as mobilization of Jamaican defense forces.”
Despite being besieged with gunfights, rape and daily violence, gang crimes go largely unreported. An unwritten rule is that talking to authorities or betraying the gang will result in one’s death or the death of their loved ones.
There is also a prevailing distrust of police officers. Years of corruption and abuse against citizens have left people with little choice but to accept the violence. Due to a high incidence of beatings and extrajudicial executions, inner-city citizens run from police just as readily as they do from gangs.