Jamaica’s crime problem is the subject of a front-page in-depth and lengthy article in the New York Times Sunday edition, August 25.
The article’s focus is on guns coming to Jamaica from the US, and how that country’s lax gun laws contribute to Jamaica’s horrendous murder rate in which, according to the article guns account for about 80 percent.
The New York Times is one of the two leading newspapers in America. The article, titled ‘One handgun 9 murders: How American Firearms Cause Carnage Abroad’, dominates the front page of the broadsheet with a picture of armed security officers against an 8-ft high zinc fence. The caption says “The Jamaican police conducting raids in downtown Kingston to disrupt criminal activity and violence that have left the country with one of the highest homicide rates in the world.”
The article continues to the centerfold of the paper with another full-page, including many pictures.
The New York Times article datelined Clarendon, Jamaica does mention the problem of guns flowing from the US across the central American region but its focus and anecdotes are mainly on Jamaica. It starts out pointing to one gun, traced to the US, that police have said was responsible for nine murders here.
Although the article paints Jamaica and the flow of guns into the country almost as a victim its unflattering statements and data about crime, gun violence, and gangs, have several Jamaicans in the diaspora concerned about its potential impact on the country.