Among the most enigmatic features of Jamaica, an island of only 2.8 million people, is its astonishing supremacy in running. Currently, the world’s fastest man and woman are both Jamaicans. Nineteen of the 26 fastest times ever recorded in 100 meter races were by Jamaicans. The list goes on.
Jamaica’s global dominance is broad and deep, both male and female, and started to emerge over half a century ago. At the 1952 Olympics in Helsinki, Jamaica was ranked 13th by the International Olympic Committee. By the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, it was first in sprints, with Usain Bolt winning three gold medals, and an unprecedented clean sweep of the women’s 100 meters.… Seguir leyendo »
The violence tearing apart Jamaica, a democratic state, raises serious questions not only about its government’s capacity to provide basic security but, more broadly and disturbingly, the link between violence and democracy itself.
The specific causes of the turmoil are well known. For decades political leaders have used armed local gangs to mobilize voters in their constituencies; the gangs are rewarded with the spoils of power, in particular housing and employment contracts they can dole out. Opposition leaders counter with their own gangs, resulting in chronic violence during election seasons.
These gangs eventually moved into international drug trafficking, with their leaders, called “dons,” becoming ever more powerful.… Seguir leyendo »