Spanish Town women in fear
Several women in war-torn communities in Spanish Town, St Catherine, say they are fearful of venturing on to their verandahs as they have been told that they are marked for death.
One of these women, a senior, told THE WEEKEND STAR that she has hardly eaten or slept in peace since she heard that her name is on the death list. The senior citizen, whose identity is being withheld, said the situation is causing her a great deal of distress. She said that she is afraid of even venturing to her gate.
"Night and day mi inna fear... Mi is a big woman weh have pickney weh older than most a di young boy dem weh a run up and down wid gun. I am so afraid right now that not even mi verandah mi feel comfortable fi go pon. From mi hear say dem have mi name pon list is like me tun fool," she said.
"A day time alone mi try get some sleep, but any sound me hear mi get paranoid," she added.
The elderly woman said she has not visited her church in a month out of fear that she could be attacked and killed.
Another woman told THE WEEKEND STAR that the death of a woman in the community recently has fuelled her fears that she could be the target of gunmen.
"Mi affi a tek taxi go every weh mi go and it is costing me a lot of money. Right now is like everything trigger mi fear. The other day mi deh outside di gate and see three police jeep a drive come up the road and run off, and no feel say mi never see say a police, enuh," she said.
When contacted for a comment, Senior Superintendent Howard Chambers, who is the commanding officer for the St Catherine North Division, said he was not aware of the so-called death list.
"It is the first that I am hearing about this list of names, but I can tell you that a number of persons' lives are at risk," Chambers said.
The senior crime fighter told THE WEEKEND STAR that the men and women under his command are working assiduously to restore peace and order in the blood-soaked parish.
"We have a number of gang-related activities taking place within a very small space between Valdez Road and Homestead. We have been doing a series of operations and importantly we have been getting the support from other sections of the force, Specialised Operations, CTOC (Counter-Terrorism and Organised Crime), the military, and we have been doing routine and non-routine types of operations, high visibility type of operations," Chambers said.
A State of Public Emergency was declared for St Catherine on June 17. It will run for at least 14 days.