OAS backs Ja’s assault on criminals

A Jamaica Defence soldier checks the identification card of a man at left while his colleague speaks to a group of women on South Camp Road in Kingston, yesterday. Sporadic gunfire could be heard in the area yesterday as members of the security forces traded bullets with criminals loyal to Tivoli Gardens don Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke.

SECRETARY General of the Organisation of American States (OAS), Jose Miguel Insulza has thrown his support behind the efforts of the Jamaican Government and the security forces to “repel” criminals from West Kingston.

In a statement yesterday, Insulza said he supports the authorities’ moves to “reassert the authority of the State over the criminal elements” in the area.

“The violent response of certain sections of society to the Government’s attempt to serve an extradition order on an alleged gangster is unacceptable in a democratic society,” he said.

“I have long lamented the threat that organised crime poses to the safety of citizens and the stability of governments in Latin America and the Caribbean. The confrontation that we are now witnessing in Western Kingston is just the latest manifestation of the threat that such groups pose to peace and security in the Americas,” he added.

Insulza said he welcomed the assurance given by the Jamaican Government that “its security forces will show restraint in their interactions with the public and will ensure that the rights of innocent Jamaicans are respected”.

He urged the Government to capitalise on the opportunity that now presents itself in the current crisis.

“I am hopeful that the Government of the people will come out of this difficult situation even more committed to addressing the root causes of crime and violence in their society,” Insulza said.

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