Last year, Amnesty International released a report, Waiting in Vain: Unlawful Police Killings and Relatives’ Long Struggle for Justice. The report details the catalogue of illegal tactics used by police across Jamaica to ensure that relatives of victims of unlawful killings by the police do not pursue justice, truth, and reparation for their loved ones. According to the report, law enforcement officials in Jamaica have allegedly killed more than 3,000 people since 2000; mostly young men living in marginalized communities. Despite overwhelming evidence of police involvement in the cases, to Amnesty International’s knowledge, only a handful of officers have been convicted of murder since then.
In Washington, DC, in a Congressional meeting room, we in the volunteer Caribbean coordinating group of Amnesty International USA recently held an information session with members of two families directly impacted by this violence in Jamaica, Simone Grant and Shackelia Jackson who were making a speaking tour to raise awareness in the US. Both lost their brothers at the hands of the Jamaican police. My volunteer Jamaica assistant, Sarah Hamilton, accompanied them on their tour.
Dr. Darsi Ferret, last name sometimes spelled Ferrer, an Afro-Cuban dissident doctor in his 40’s, once imprisoned for ostensibly possessing two bags of unauthorized cement, was found dead in south Florida, cause of death unknown. His photo appears on p. 344 of my Confessions book.
Dr. Darsi Ferret (L) with another former Cuban prisoner