HomeNewsBriefJamaica Sees Lowest Monthly Murder Rate Since 2003
BRIEF

Jamaica Sees Lowest Monthly Murder Rate Since 2003

CARIBBEAN / 3 APR 2012 BY CHRISTOPHER LOOFT EN

This March, Jamaica saw its lowest monthly murder rate in more than nine years, pointing to a sustained drop in violence, even though the country still has one of the highest homicide rates in the Caribbean.

According to the Caribbean Journal, National Security Minister Peter Bunting (see picture) said the 69 murders registered last month were the lowest monthly total since February 2003.

Bunting cited the deployment of the country's military in a policing role, a campaign against lottery fraud, and anti-gang media initiatives as some of the factors responsible for the drop. He said that the number, while still unacceptable, was a positive step forward that would help support future security efforts.

InSight Crime Analysis

The encouraging statistics for March follows a broader trend; in 2011, Jamaica saw its lowest annual homicide rate since 2003. This was particularly good news since 2011 was an election year, which usually brings with it increased violence due to political feuds among neighborhood gangs.

Still, Jamaica has a long road ahead. Bunting has said that the island's eventual goal is to register no more 321 murders a year, described by the minister as "First World levels." A murder rate of 69 deaths a month is still a far cry from achieving this. Furthermore, the increase in police patrols that have apparently yielded these security gains has also been linked to an increase in human rights violations, including the killings of civilians in alleged confrontations with the police. 

What's more, despite his June 2010 extradition to the United States, drug lord Christopher "Dudus" Coke reportedly still inspires widespread support in his former areas of influence in Jamaica, indicating that organized crime still enjoys strong ties to the local population. This suggests that while the government may point to dropping murder rates as evidence of improved public security, the real work lies in winning the trust of residents previously ruled by gangs like Dudus'. 

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

HOMICIDES / 21 JAN 2011

With record violence registered last year in Mexico, officials are struggling to frame the drug war policy as successful, even…

CARIBBEAN / 1 SEP 2011

Drug lord "Dudus" Coke has pleaded guilty to racketeering, closing a dark chapter in Jamaica's history. But the…

CARIBBEAN / 8 SEP 2017

Based on erroneous and false information, the Jamaican government has launched a new initiative to corral criminal groups in what…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Environmental and Academic Praise

17 JUN 2022

InSight Crime’s six-part series on the plunder of the Peruvian Amazon continues to inform the debate on environmental security in the region. Our Environmental Crimes Project Manager, María Fernanda Ramírez,…

LA ORGANIZACIÓN

Series on Plunder of Peru’s Amazon Makes Headlines

10 JUN 2022

Since launching on June 2, InSight Crime’s six-part series on environmental crime in Peru’s Amazon has been well-received. Detailing the shocking impunity enjoyed by those plundering the rainforest, the investigation…

THE ORGANIZATION

Duarte’s Death Makes Waves

3 JUN 2022

The announcement of the death of Gentil Duarte, one of the top dissident commanders of the defunct Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), continues to reverberate in Venezuela and Colombia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Cattle Trafficking Acclaim, Investigation into Peru’s Amazon 

27 MAY 2022

On May 18, InSight Crime launched its most recent investigation into cattle trafficking between Central America and Mexico. It showed precisely how beef, illicitly produced in Honduras, Guatemala…

THE ORGANIZATION

Coverage of Fallen Paraguay Prosecutor Makes Headlines

20 MAY 2022

The murder of leading anti-crime prosecutor, Marcelo Pecci, while on honeymoon in Colombia, has drawn attention to the evolution of organized crime in Paraguay. While 17 people have been arrested…