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No guns for you - US rejects Jamaica's application to buy sniper rifles

Cable dated: August 13, 2005


1. On August 22, (embassy official) spoke with Senior Superintendent (name withheld by The Gleaner) of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF). (SSP) explained that the JCF is currently participating in a training course led by London-based Task International.

The technical training includes segments on hostage rescue, public order, and other policing activities, including sniper training.

Twelve people will receive the sniper training: six teams, each with one sniper and one spotter.

(SSP) added that the JCF was advised by Task International to purchase six sniper rifles, which would be used in the training course.

He said that the weapons will not be used by untrained officers.

(SSP) said he was grateful for (embassy official) call and invited embassy personnel to observe the training if desired.


2. (SBU) One August 31, (embassy official) spoke with (name withheld by The Gleaner), Political Affairs Officer at the British High Commission in Kingston.

(British official) said that the High Commission was aware of but was not funding the police training by UK contractor Task International.

He said that the JCF originally sought

to import sniper rifles from the UK, but London refused the request based on consolidated EU and national arms export licensing criteria.

Specifically, their concerns included what they deemed to be the JCF's insufficient accountability measures, weapons handling procedures, maintenance schedules, and poor human rights record. In addition, London reported that the JCF had not yet decided where the weapons would be stored, and that the exported weapons "might be diverted to an undesirable end user".


3. (SBU) Post recommends deferring the approval of this export application until the JCF's anti-kidnap unit is operational. To date, the unit has been formed but is in its very early stages. Post also recommends that approval be deferred until the JCF can establish definitively where the weapons will be stored and whether any accountability measures have been implemented in preparation for the arrival of these weapons.

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Comment by JamRockLady on May 31, 2011 at 3:43pm
@Mervin E Yearwood...good point/my point exactly. Ma'at Nubian Emperor. :)
Comment by Mervin E Yearwood on May 31, 2011 at 1:32pm

Who manufacture these weapons? Who imported them? Is the U.S.A Gov.making a statement that the Ja.force is so corrupted that it can't secure it self from the criminal element ? The current U.S.A. policy states that Drug Dealing is a Terrorist act.The deportation of ex patriots has cause the level of organized crime to a higher level of sophistication that these states were not prepared for.The use of snipers are S.O.P for many law enforcement agency.

A way around the band is for recruit nationals who serve in the U.S.A.military and other law enforcement groups that meets Ja. and U.S.A. standard for these squads.( like what going on in Haiti's reconstruction).

Weapons are tools in the hands of skillful  craftsman may yield stability.But the most desire is to effect social change is by the people (meaning local people) engaging in dialog with local criminals and government. 

Drugs is a tool to control people from free thinking and intellectual development,it fosters a mentality in the community that it can take you out of financial poverty .    

The people of Jamaica suffer because she is the gateway for narc o  trafficking and other enterprise that First World people crave.

Comment by deborah rollerson on May 31, 2011 at 4:42am
HUH????????? Good intentions pave roads to HELL!!!! Something like that.Guns by themselves dont kill people . Its people  who kills people.Not even Americans who are shooting these GUNS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HELLOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Comment by VonsinaWilliams on May 31, 2011 at 3:13am

Well well  USA finally got the message. Stop participating in other peoples deaths notes.



Comment by Lemara Tone on May 30, 2011 at 5:15pm
these guns are not necessary jus to pick a few bits what Savvy has said its is true that ja does not have a terrorist problem and theses weapon will not resolve gang issues right on, but u never now wen it will start cause ja is more becoming Americanised with drive bys and other things
Comment by Proudlady on May 30, 2011 at 7:11am

Well since there is always more than one way to solve a problem, then Jamaica can take this time to make some changes in their policies. After reading some of the posts, it appears that the criminals in JA are arming themselves with guns that are superior to the guns now being used by the police force. Maybe JA should institute more or better policies for confiscating these guns and getting them legalized for the police to use. Also I don't see any problems with them doing what the UK and US suggested in proper control measures. All countries need to do this, but it may be a bit more urgent to institute these policies in JA and other parts of the Caribbean now. Another thing that needs to be done once these policies are put in place, is develop measures in which to make sure that these policies are enforced. Better appraisal systems and point checks need to be put in place to either make sure police stay on the straight and narrow or to find ways in which to get rid of the corrupt ones and have them held accountable for something that will make it easier to keep them off the streets or away from helping to contribute to the negative and downward spiral that JA is going through.


These are just thoughts people.

Comment by Savvy on May 29, 2011 at 10:15pm

WOW....This topic has really gotten some of us talking but it's gone south. Really now, England and US see or have reasons for not allowing Jamaica to gain these sophisticated weapons. First, Jamaica does not have a terrorist  problem, it has a gang related issue and sniper weapons is not whats going to resolve that. Also, I thought that since they have caught the young don and many of his cronies dead, that the problem was not as major again. Many do not know that it was the US stealth unmanned air craft(DRONE) that took infrared images of Tivoli Gardens why so many was killed. They knew where every shot was coming from and the bombs coming into TG was hitting it's target precisely. Jamaica alone would not be able to do that without many civilians hurt or killed. England and America are well aware of the crisis in JA, I believe that their decision is based on human rights issues. I'm not a big fan of either country, but I will say I support their decision on this one.


Comment by Lemara Tone on May 29, 2011 at 3:29pm
more guns more problems
Comment by JamRockLady on May 29, 2011 at 2:56pm
...on second thought, I will continue to follow this blog.  I'm looking forward to reading positive, respectful, intlleigent mature people's insight regarding this topic and ignoring the negative ones, as usual.  :D
Comment by JamRockLady on May 29, 2011 at 2:37pm
Lol...hate mongering and lies...are highly comical...well, very bored with the negativity to tears following).

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