Monday, January 13, 2014

Jamaica: Update--Canadian Embassy, Kingston Needs to Weigh-In, Apply Pressure on Police

According to The Associated Press, Jamaican police said Monday (January 13) they have no suspects in the slaying of Canadian Shirley Lewis-McFarlane, 53, who is from upscale Aurora, near Toronto, was found murdered in her rented home in Discovery Bay, a north coast tourist town. Her body was found inside of her rental on December 30.

COMMENT: From all indications, the Canadian Embassy in Kingston has said very little. As a foreign embassy charged with representing the interests of Canadians who visit Jamaica, particularly in response to the frequent tourism advertisements, the message obviously is: "Don't get murdered in Jamaica."

The only acknowledgment that St. Ann Parish Police Superintendent Yvonne Martin-Daley has said is that Lewis-McFarlane died of asphyxiation and blunt force trauma during an attack in her rental house in Discovery Bay, which is very well known to Ms. Lewis-McFarlane's three adult children who actually need to know precisely what viable leads the Jamaican police actually have in finding their Mother's killer.

As mentioned in my previous posting, Ms. Lewis-McFarlane reportedly married Jamaican national Carl McFarlane in 2001, yet police have neither affirmed or refuted that Mr. McFarlane is alive, dead, missing or even a suspect. 

St. Ann parish Police Superintendent Yvonne Martin-Daley said four people have been questioned in recent days, but no arrests have been made. 

Some 1,200 people were slain last year in Jamaica, on an island-nation with 2.7 million inhabitants, compared to 1,097 murders in 2012. The conviction rate for homicides in Jamaica is just 5%, which is a far cry from convictions in developed nations. 

I recently reported in a posting related to the high murder rate in Puerto Rico, which for a country of 3.7 million people, has DOUBLE the murder rate of Chicago! Comparatively, Puerto Rico has a clearance rate of 25% for homicides compared to 75% on the Mainland.

It appears that in Jamaica, life is indeed viewed as being very, very cheap, even for foreigners such as Ms. Lewis-McFarlane. What a pity it is that she can't speak to us from the grave and tell us who murdered her.