Thu | Jun 4, 2020

Hold dons, community leaders accountable

Published:Tuesday | February 18, 2020 | 12:24 AM


On Friday, February 14, 2020, a crowd of placard-bearing females were seen on Television Jamaica (TVJ) protesting the detention of a reputed don from Jacques Road. When asked by the reporter how did he manage to maintain law and order in the community, one of the female protestors replied that it was out of love and mutual respect. This response I find to be either intellectually pendulous or deliberately disingenuous.

No surprise, though, by her answer. In a culture where the don reigns supreme, and cooperation with the police is almost non-existent, then the latter response seems most politically correct in the scheme of things.

In redoubts like Jacques Road, there’s usually an established principle of esprit de corps, and departure from it could lead to serious consequences. If one should really examine how redoubts/garrisons are generally governed, then it would not be unusual for members of the clan to be conveniently muted, especially in relation to making comments that could go against the status quo.


These dons appear to have carte blanche control, political influence and support over the communities which they preside. They are feared. On camera, the consensus is that they are revered. As a result, they get the community to tow the line. When peace reigns in the community, these dons are extolled, so by the same token, when things go awry, they should be culpable.

If the criminal act is amended to hold these dons accountable for the acts of criminality in the communities that they control, then Jamaica could be one step closer to alleviating the crime problem.