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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
07KINGSTON111
2007-01-23 14:18:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Kingston
Cable title:  

JAMAICA'S ELECTION-YEAR VIOLENCE

Tags:   KCRM  SOCI  PREL  PGOV  JM 
pdf how-to read a cable
VZCZCXYZ0001
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHKG #0111 0231418
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 231418Z JAN 07
FM AMEMBASSY KINGSTON
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 4222
						C O N F I D E N T I A L KINGSTON 000111 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR WHA/CEN (BUDDEN) AND INL/LP (BOZZOLO)

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/19/2017
TAGS: KCRM SOCI PREL PGOV JM
SUBJECT: JAMAICA'S ELECTION-YEAR VIOLENCE

REF: KINGSTON 00069

Classified By: Deputy Chief of Mission James T. Heg Reasons: 1.5(b) and
(d)

1.(C) Summary: P/E Counselor and Acting NAS Director met for
lunch with Deputy Commissioner Mark Shields of the Jamaica
Constabulary Force on January 17. The purpose was to gain
his perspective regarding prospects for an unusual level of
violence in conjunction with elections this year. Shields
observed that the situation was not alarming at this time.
He is pursuing a couple of tactics to try to keep violence at
a minimum. End Summary.

2.(C) Mark Shields, a UK national who is a veteran of the
London Metropolitan Police Force, explained to emboffs that
information currently available does not suggest that there
is a need for alarm about potential election-year violence.
While he indicated that the potential exists for this to be a
more violent election than in 2002 (year of the last national
election), the leaders of the PNP and JLP (Portia
Miller-Simpson and Bruce Golding) have assured him that they
are committed to peaceful elections. And, Shields said he
has not hesitated to bring incidents to their immediate
attention when violence has flared up. Shields related that,
so far, violent skirmishes have primarily been between
factions of the same political party.

3.(C) Although the Deputy Commissioner indicated distaste for
having to do it, he has adopted the tactic of brokering peace
agreements with unsavory characters like Paul Burke when
violence erupts. He said that, the evening of January 16,
serious shooting broke out in the Mountain View area of
Kingston. During the incident a JDF soldier was wounded in
the leg. Shields was at that moment (during lunch) arranging
to meet with faction leaders as soon as he left the
restaurant. He mentioned Danhai Williams as one of the
parties involved. Comment: According to Radio Jamaica,
gunfire continued the night of the 16th despite the presence
of several teams of police and soldiers. As there were no
subsequent reports of shooting in that area, emboffs assume
that Shields succeeded. End comment.

4.(C) Comment: Paul Burke and Danhai Williams are notorious
in Jamaica. Both are affiliated with the PNP. Burke has
been involved in criminal activity for over 25 years and is
believed to carry out the PNP's "dirty work" by ordering
killings, extortions and intimidations of witnesses or
"whistle-blowers" for them. Williams was a key witness in
the trial over the Krawl killings a couple of years ago. It
was claimed the murders were politically-motivate,
extrajudicial killings. Williams allegedly was out of
Jamaica during the trial in which Renato Adams (head of the
police Flying Squad) had been charged. Williams was said to
have provided Adams with "drop" weapons (to make it appear
that the police acted in self-defense). Subsequently,
Williams was granted immunity from failure to testify. It
appears that gangs of gunmen directed by politically
affiliated "dons" or thugs are the root of the violence.
And, those involved in the fighting are not necessarily
resident in the location where the violence occurs. Shields
suggested that the motive in many instances is intra-party
rivalry for dominance in a particular area. In past years,
shootings were the result of PNP and JLP gangs fighting each
other for dominance over the electorate in a given area. End
Comment.
JOHNSON