Gangs battle for cash; money used to buy guns, drugs, flashy cars
United States authorities say that millions of dollars, tucked away by senior citizens for their retirement, are now ending up in the pockets of Jamaican crime syndicates. Ã¢â‚¬Å“It is a plague,Ã¢â‚¬Â said U.S. Postal Inspector Bladismir Rojo, adding Ã¢â‚¬Å“when word-of-mouth spreads of free money, there is no way to put it out.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Rojo told reporters here late last month that lottery frauds, based in Jamaica, have exploded in popularity, with estimates that as much as $300 million will be bilked from U.S. residents, largely the elderly, this year alone. He said proceeds from the alleged swindles are used to buy guns, drugs and flashy cars in Jamaica, with gang members sometimes fighting and dying over the illicit cash.
The recent changing of the guard at the highest level of government in Jamaica Ã¢â‚¬â€œ with further possible changes on the horizon as the country awaits elections - has sparked debate among Jamaicans at home and in the diaspora.
The Oct. 23 swearing in of Andrew Holness, the youngest prime minister ever in JamaicaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s history is the Ã¢â‚¬Å“secondÃ¢â‚¬Â of two Ã¢â‚¬Å“firstsÃ¢â‚¬Â for the country. Bruce GoldingÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s resignation as the countryÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s leader led the double billing as no prime minister had ever had to walk away from the job, especially with the political and social upheaval left in his wake.
You have to be fairly observant to make it in a business thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s affected by such fickle and hard-to-control phenomena as weather, bugs and human population trends.
Florida famers have seen whatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s happened recently to counterparts in Georgia and Alabama and theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re scared Ã¢â‚¬â€ not about locusts, fruit flies or droughts, but rather politicians.
The Obama administration continues to deport Haitians despite knowing many will be illegally jailed and risk cholera exposure upon arrival.
The United States has deported more than 250 Haitians since January knowing that one in two will be jailed without charges in facilities so filthy they pose life-threatening health risks. An investigation by the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting found that the Obama administration has not followed its own policy of seeking alternatives to deportation when there are serious medical and humanitarian concerns.
One deportee who arrived in April suffered from asthma, hypertension, diabetes, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and head trauma, among other ailments. That same month, the U.S. government deported a mentally ill immigrant whose psychiatric medications were lost by Haitian authorities after his first day in jail.