What We Learned This Week In Jamaica March 4-11


1) Is Jamaica a Classist, Colourist & Sexist Society?
These questions hijacked the conversation away from what both candidates for East Portland can do for the constituency, opening old wounds from a tribalistic time most Jamaicans wish never to return to, but must address to move forward and really be “out of many one people”.
Yes, we are all of the above, but;
Is the political platform of a by-election the place for the discussion?
Or is it “diversion central”?
Campaigning is in full swing in Portland.
Watch out for lots of mud, and do-do, as you walk, ride and drive through and around the ironically nicknamed “Green Parish”.
2) The Uchence Wilson Gang’s trial heated up this week with video link testimony from a gang member turned cooperating witness who fingered the gang for a home invasion, a farm store robbery, a wholesale robbery, and a plain old stick up of an elderly man after their farm store robbery was foiled by the arrival of cops that they eventually fired upon because they were stealing money from a cash register left behind by the gang.
He told of guns being transported in baby bags and by cops, 2 of which are on trial as gang members.
The case is being presided over by Chief Justice Bryan Sykes, and will continue with further video link testimony this week.
3) It was a bloody week in the for the Nation as some 25 murders were recorded, with Kington, Portmore and Montego Bay bearing the brunt of the gunmen’s hands.
Among the more heinous of the crimes were the shooting of a 6 yo boy pillion in Somerton, St James, and 2 teens from Donald Quarrie High gunned down in Portmore, St Catherine.
The PM & the MoNS plan to introduce a bill that will give police enhanced powers, but with several community groups already accusing cops of dereliction of duty, and with more & more cops being proven corrupted, WWLTW doubts if that is the way to go.
Police, oonu get oonu money, so please; Tap e loo-laa-lay!
4) Road fatalities continue to climb, up currently by 20% over last year’s figure, with 72 persons dying so far compared to 60 at this time last year.
The latest casualties are 3 young persons, including a 7 yo girl and her father from Stony Hill addresses, killed on the Melrose Bypass in Manchester after their vehicle lost control and slammed into an oncoming truck.
In Westmoreland, a 41 yo man lost control of his bike and ran into an oncoming car in the wee hours of Wednesday morning, dying instantly.
Du, mi a beg oonu;
Guh easy panny road!
5) As robberies and break-ins trend upwards, downtown Kingston businesspersons and vendors are asking cops to increase their presence in the area to deter criminals.
The police is in turn are asking said vendors and businesspeople to report nefarious activities and to stop harbouring fugitives and providing safe havens for thieves.
It would do the vendors well to heed the warnings; it is their livelihoods that will perish should persons stop “shopping a Town”.
Buyer! Buyer!
6) Di Budget read! Di Budget read!
The tabling of the Budget by the MoF Dr Nigel Clarke saw a huge $14bn tax cut package to ensure “Growth with Equity”, the theme of his first budget presentation, the first tax cut in over 25 years.
Taxpayers will see the dissolution of the minimum business tax & the asset tax for non-financial businesses;
Stamp duty and transfer taxes on certain transactions replaced by a $5000 flat fee;
Property transfer tax reduced to 2% from 5% and stamp duty on property replaced with a $5000 flat fee;
Estate transfer taxes threshold moved to $10mn from $100,000 and business GCT liability up to $10mn from $3mn.
None of the gas taxes were removed, however, a cut for which many have cried, and one that would have given rhe ordinary man and commuters great relief.
Dr Clarke said the cuts came from brainstorming sessions with the IMF & his MoF team.
Kudos Dr Clarke, aah gwaan work panny gas part deh fi wi,
7) The Marine Division of the JCF nabbed 57 Dominican Republic fishermen aboard 2 boats in the Pedro Cays region with over 100,000 lbs of conch & lobsters, seized the boats and fined them over $11mn.
Considering that Conch is out of season, this is an incredible haul.
Some of these poachers need to pay the piper so the practice of illegal fishing can end.
8 ) The US State Department has issued a 2-pronged Travel Advisory warning for its citizens traveling to Jamaica.
The warnings are both level 2 ones (level 1 being the least serious and level 4 the most);
Americans are to avoid certain areas and to be aware of sexual assault.
Spanish Town is to be avoided completely, along with parts of MoBay and parts of Kingston.
Be wary of strangers on the streets and never entertain strangers at your Hotels, Villas and AirBnB’s.
Kinda like how we Jamaicans roll daily:
Fi Real!
9) It was a bloody Sunday morning in MoBay as 5 persons lost their lives violently, topped off by a daring early morning robbery which accounted for 2 of the murders.
A Chinese businessman being escorted by his driver and a Hawkeye team came under heavy fire from armed men who blocked them front the and back and immediately opened fire, killing the drivers of both vehicles and taking off with an undisclosed sum believed to be upwards of $15mn.
One man was also killed in Rose Heights, another in Hendon, and an unidentified woman’s body was found at Dump-up Beach with multiple stab wounds.
28 people have been murdered in St James since the start of the year.
10) Murder!
Derrick Smith, 65 yo farmer of Bogue Hill, MoBay, shot & killed in the community by unknown assailants. Another man was wounded in the incident.
35 yo “Blacks” Reid of Maxfield, Kingston 13, shot dead by 2 men at a restaurant on Barbican Road.
59 yo “Daddy Ruff” Santouse of Yallahs, St Thomas, shot dead at his gate by a lone gunman. Another man was also wounded during the incident.
An unidentified man found dead in Church Pen, St Catherine, with gunshot wounds to the head.
26 yo “Washie” Thomas of Golden Spring, St Andrew, shot dead in his community by unknown gunmen.
6 yo Jordanian Hodges and 27 yo “Soljy” Hemming, shot off a bike in Somerton, St James. Jordanian’s sister was also injured during the incident.
Najar Ferguson and Shavour Henry, both 18 yo and from Effortville in Clarendon, shot dead in a yard in the community by unknown gunmen.
27 yo “Ramon” Nelson, stabbed to death during a dispute in his Boston, Portland community.
28 yo Oshane Smith of Smokey Vale, St Andrew shot dead by 2 gunmen posing as customers at a shop in the community.
19 yo “Little Sarge” Henry of Windward Road, Kingston, shot dead at his gate by gunmen.
An unidentified man found along June Flower Drive in Portmore, St Catherine, with multiple gunshot wounds.
An unidentified man whose body was found along Water Lane in Kingston with multiple gunshot wounds.
54 yo “Buggies” Richards, of Bushy Park, St Catherine, found dead in his home with multiple gunshot wounds to his face.
41 yo taximan Hilroy Hylton of Point, St James, murdered by gunmen in the track to his yard.
David Cameron and Brittany Allen, both 14 & students of Donald Quarrie High School, murdered in a house at their Westchester, Portmore community by armed men who kicked in the door and shot them multiple times.
20 odd yo dancehall artiste “Kaliba” Francis and 40 yo “Pops” Golbourne, both of Maxfield, Kingston 13, shot dead by gunmen at Kaliba’s gate on Bertram Road. Police theorize their deaths to be in reprisal to “Blacks” Reid’s (mentioned above) death.
33 yo shopkeeper “Trudy” Slack, shot dead by unknown assailants while walking home in her Victoria, Linstead community.
48 yo “Tony” Wilson, courier of Mt Salem, and 50 odd yo Canute Earl of Norwood & Hawkeye security, both in St James, ambushed and killed by robbers along Jarrett Street in MoBay.
Another guard was also shot during the incident.
30 yo Suniel Foskin of Farm Heights, shot dead in the community by unknown gunmen.
A man known only as “Hot Beer”, shot dead in the Hendon, MoBay community.
An unidentified wonan found at Dumpup Beach with multiple stab wounds & her head bashed in.
11) Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET 302 from Addis Ababa to Nairobi, Kenya, crashed 5 minutes after takeoff killing all 157 persons on board.
The Boeing 737 Max 8 jet is the second such plane to crash within the last 5 months following the Lion Air Indonesian crash which killed all 189 people on board that flight.
Several airlines have now grounded that type of plane, and are hoping the black boxes found from flight ET 302 can shed light the cause of the crash.
WWLTW sends condolences to all the families of the deceased.

QuikNotes Local
a] Constant Spring Market demolished.
b] War of words, name-calling as campaign trail heats up in Portland. 2 Polls conflict each other, giving both sides 10 digit leads as pundits call it dead heat.
c] $1.8bn for cop cars, $3.4bn for housing allocated in Budget.
d] Red Stripe announces “Stand Up” campaign for gender equality, launches gender neutral uniforms.
e] Bernard Lodge farmers adamant; “We will not be moved” from lands they occupy.
f] MP Bloomfield’s murder accused remanded; Lawyer Champaignie condemns “irresponsible utterances” from campaign podium.

QuikNotes International
a] Venezuela’s power shortage, on since Thursday, drags on.
b] Ebola Treatment Center in Democratic Republic of Congo attacked for 2nd time in a month, 1 killed.
c] Activities at 2 North Korean missile sites indicate launch preparations, satellites find.
d] US Supreme Court rules that World Bank can be sued.
e] Germany celebrates 1st international “International Women’s Day” public Holiday.
f] US cities skeptical of FDA issued warnings against Canadian medicines.

Feel Free to add Your News in the comments, and, til need Week,
Safe Travel Pon Di Gravel!


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