Jamaica. Prime Minister Patterson reformed his government on February 21 as part of his efforts to boost Jamaica’s economy. The decision to make Portia Simpson-Miller, popular minister of labor, social and sport as minister responsible for the tourism sector, the country’s most important source of income, was especially praised by Jamaica’s business leaders.
In October, the country was shaken by a political crisis after it was revealed that members of the government, including Prime Minister Patterson himself, were eavesdropping illegally. After the police officer who led the investigation into the scandal scandal was shot dead, an investigation into suspected corruption within Jamaica’s police force was added, which is accused of having seen through its fingers that the country has been used as a hub for cocaine smuggling in exchange for compensation in the form of multi-million dollars.
The Jamaican political opposition has demanded that British police from Scotland Yard lead the investigation into corruption among the country’s police officers.
- ABBREVIATIONFINDER: Offers three letter and two letter abbreviations for the country of Jamaica. Also covers country profile such as geography, society and economy.
Jamaica’s police continue to be one of the most gunfire in the world, though the number of police murders dropped from 2011 to 12. Still, it sparked widespread protests as police shot and killed the first 6 days of March 2012. Police continue to enjoy widespread impunity for their murder, which is routinely criticized by international human rights organizations.
In April 2014, Jamaica and China signed a cooperation agreement aimed at making Jamaica a 4th trading hub in the world next to Singapore, Dubai and Rotterdam. Jamaica was to service the American continent. As part of the program, production zones for foreign companies were also to be created.
In February 2014, the government set up a commission of inquiry to investigate the circumstances surrounding the introduction of the state of emergency in 2010. A preliminary report from April 2013 had concluded that 76 civilians had been killed during the state of emergency. Of these, 44 were pure executions. A soldier was killed. In 2011, the police had committed 210 killings, in 2012 219 and in 2013 258 killings. Of the 2,200 killings committed by the police in 2000-10, only 2 police officers had been tried and convicted.
According to COUNTRYAAH, the population of Jamaica in 2000 was 2,654,590, ranking number 136 in the world. The population growth rate was 0.940% yearly, and the population density was 245.1248 people per km2.
Thanks to the abundance and variety of available resources, Jamaica’s GDP and the resulting per capita income ($ 4172 in 2007), although not equally distributed, are among the highest in the Central American area. However, the productive mechanisms are not sufficient to support an autonomous growth process, based on the intervention of capital and national companies; moreover, during the 1990s the island’s economy, hampered by persistent fiscal imbalances and a high level of inflation, experienced a serious crisis in the financial sector.
Agriculture plays a considerable role and absorbs about 1/5 of the active population. The main crop is sugar cane, from which a fine rum is also obtained, followed by bananas and coffee; an almost exclusive crop of the island is allspice (pepper). These crops feed a good flow of exports, even though, in the late 1990s, they suffered a lot of damage as a result of adverse weather conditions. Regarding the mining sector, despite the uncertainties of the international aluminum market, Jamaica is the fifth largest producer of bauxite in the world (14.58 million tonnes in 2007). After bauxite, the main source of income is represented by tourism, which can count on the attractions of the north coast (Gold Coast), as well as on efficient infrastructures.