States of Public Emergency in Jamaica: For or against, what to do now?

Petchary's Blog

I wrote recently for Global Voices about the imposition of States of Public Emergency (SOPEs) in no less than seven police divisions across the island on November 14, in light of a tremendous spike in our murder rate.

Well, the SOPEs will end this weekend, after just two weeks. After hours of debate, the Upper House today voted againstan extension of the measures, after the Lower House had voted for them to continue until February 10, 2022. The Senate did not get a two-thirds majority needed to extend the SOPEs.

So, what next?

In the press release just issued below, the Private Sector Organization of Jamaica is expressing its qualified support for SOPEs. This very much reflects my own view. Here is what they have to say:

Jamaica is in the top five murder rate globally and the violent deaths of over 1,000 Jamaicans annually has almost been normalised.

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