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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
05KINGSTON1337
2005-05-25 13:48:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Kingston
Cable title:  

PRIVATE SECTOR ORGANIZATION OF JAMAICA CALL FOR

Tags:   PREL  PGOV  KCRM  SNAR  JM 
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This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
						C O N F I D E N T I A L KINGSTON 001337 

SIPDIS

WHA/CAR (BENT), INL/LP (KBROWN)

E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/24/2014
TAGS: PREL PGOV KCRM SNAR JM
SUBJECT: PRIVATE SECTOR ORGANIZATION OF JAMAICA CALL FOR
WIDESPREAD CRIME PROTEST

REF: A. KINGSTON 01258

B. POWELL/BENT 5/20 EMAIL

Classified By: Charge d'Affaires Ronald Robinson for reasons 1.4 (b) an
d (d).

C O N F I D E N T I A L KINGSTON 001337

SIPDIS

WHA/CAR (BENT), INL/LP (KBROWN)

E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/24/2014
TAGS: PREL PGOV KCRM SNAR JM
SUBJECT: PRIVATE SECTOR ORGANIZATION OF JAMAICA CALL FOR
WIDESPREAD CRIME PROTEST

REF: A. KINGSTON 01258

B. POWELL/BENT 5/20 EMAIL

Classified By: Charge d'Affaires Ronald Robinson for reasons 1.4 (b) an
d (d).


1. (C) Protesting against the escalating crime rate, the
Private Sector Organization of Jamaica (PSOJ) announced on
Thursday, May 19, their intention to lead a three day
protest, commencing with a rally at Emancipation Park,
located a block from the Consular Section in New Kingston, on
Wednesday, May 25. Beverly Lopez, President of the PSOJ
advised Econoff on May 20 that the planned protest is not
anti-government, but is meant to show that "enough is
enough." As part of the event at Emancipation Park, Lopez
hopes to have each Cabinet member publicly reaffirm their
support for the rule of law.


2. (C) It was the death of four policemen (Ref A) and that of
prominent businessmen, Maurice Azan and his stepson Lloyd
Phang, which spurred the PSOJ and other civic organizations
such as the Jamaica Exporters' Association and the Jamaica
Manufacturers' Association into action. (Note: On Saturday,
May 14, Azan and Phang were both killed when heavily armed
gunmen entered Azan's supermarket in May Pen, Clarendon and
opened fire. Police state the gunmen escaped with an
undetermined sum of money. NAS Law Enforcement Development
Advisor confirmed the police believe the motive behind the
killings was extortion. End Note.) On May 19, the PSOJ
announced a three-day private sector show of protest against
the staggering homicide rate to run from May 25 to May 27.
Plans include an island-wide shutdown of commercial
activities on May 25. Flowers will be laid at a newly
erected memorial at Trafalgar Park in downtown Kingston on
May 26 and the protest will culminate with a meeting between
PSOJ members, government officials and Opposition leaders on
the 27th.


3. (C) Delroy Chuck, Opposition Spokesperson on Justice
Issues, told Poloff on May 24 that he would not be attending
the three day event and that he "heard the PSOJ would be
calling for a State of Emergency." Chuck stated a state of
emergency would be sending the wrong signal and that he could
not support it as it would "negatively affect" tourism. What
Jamaica has, Chuck noted is a "failed administration." "Not
only is society in a state of anarchy but so is the police
force and education system." Further, Chuck stated that the
protest is definitely a good gesture but "nothing will come
of it."


4. (C) Comment: This show of solidarity is more than
welcome in a country where the homicide rate has averaged 125
people per month. As the PSOJ and other members of society
have pointed out, however, it will take much more than this
symbolic gesture to stem the high rate of crime. Although
the protest is meant to be a stand against the overall
homicide and crime rate, it took the death of an affluent
white Jamaican businessman to spur private sector businesses
into action. While it appears the GOJ is unable to win
public confidence with its anti-crime measures, the private
sector may now be stepping up to play a more civic-minded
role. Post will report further on the PSOJ shutdown and
rally as the day unfolds. End comment.
ROBINSON