Channel 4 – Jamaica: Guns, Votes and Money

This documentary is about the violence and crime people face in their everyday life in Kingston, Jamaica. A shocking report that keeps Jamaica’s social environment and politricks  in perspective.

“While tourist brochures show smiling locals living in paradise, Unreported World reveals a country where thirty per cent of the population are trapped in crime ridden slums, and uncovers allegations that political parties are arming and funding violent gangs in return for votes.

Reporter Evan Williams and producer James Brabazon begin their journey in Kingston, where about a million people live in, or near, the ‘garrisons’; the slums in the centre of the capital. Barricades mark the territories between violent gangs and a wrong turn can be a death sentence.

They’re taken to one of the most notorious garrisons – Majesty Gardens – by a local fixer who says if he wasn’t with them, they’d be shot in minutes. Williams and Brabazon are quickly surrounded by angry, young gang members who tell them the men can’t leave the area as they risk being shot by rival gangs. Alongside them, youngsters play in open sewers and the Unreported World team is told how most of kids’ fathers are dead. Astonishingly, Majesty Gardens is part of the Prime Minister’s constituency.

The team is then taken to a garrison in the area of Spanish Town, again facing the very real risk that they’ll be attacked if gang members think they may be police informers. They’ve arranged to meet ‘Father’ Pedley, a key figure in the One Order gang which now controls the area after a gang war which cost seven hundred lives.

Pedley claims that many of Jamaica’s politicians are in league with the gangs – handing them government contracts for jobs such as sanitation and lighting in return for the gangs delivering votes. That night Unreported World films other members of the One Order gang who have defected to the government and claim that the youth wing of the governing party regularly brings the gang food, ammunition and weapons in return for votes.

Williams meets up with the Jamaican Finance Minister, Omar Davies, as his convoy passes through gang checkpoints and in to a ghetto called Angola in his constituency. He says that some politicians do make deals with the gangs to “enforce order”.

But it’s not just the gangs who kill to “enforce order”. Per head of population the police kill more people in Jamaica than almost anywhere else in the world – more than 155 people so far this year. Williams witnesses the immediate aftermath of a police shooting, where locals tell him that the police execute gang members instead of arresting them.

As the team leaves Jamaica, the country’s political parties begin gearing up for a general election. Yet, all the signs are that in a country crippled by one of the highest murder rates in the world, its politicians seem more concerned with holding onto power than doing anything to end the terrible violence that is trapping so many Jamaicans in despair and poverty.”

(Source [Text and Picture]: Channel 4)

No Metacafe support on WordPress, so just click on the links and you will be directed to the movie by just one click. Or check out echomania’s vodpod  (sidebar).

Part 1:

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Part 2:

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Part 3:

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