The admission by a Deputy Superintendent of Police that the police are not equipped to handle coast smugglers is much very frightening and should be cause for grave concern for all Jamaicans. In recent times a disturbing trend has developed where a number of nationals from Central America, namely Costa Rica and Nicaragua, have entered Jamaica illegally.
Alarmingly, a lack of
a paper trail has rendered the authorities helpless in knowing how long the Central
American nationals have been staying in Jamaica given that they did not use the
country’s legal ports of entry.
Undoubtedly, Jamaica’s national security is at risk in view
of the fact that we already know that there is an on-going guns for drugs
trade. It well documented that in this
trade Jamaica provides drugs in this lucrative business in exchange for
Despite Jamaica’s budgetary constraints, the country needs to
redouble its efforts to monitor and protect its borders. Jamaica is a relatively small island with a
land area of 4,244 square miles. It has a coastline of 1,022 km or 634 miles which makes policing the
border challenging but not impossible if more resources are allocated to this
The monitoring of a
country’s borders, including territorial waters becomes more urgent as the
international community is on an Ebola virus alert. The possibility exists that
some virus could have entered the shores of Jamaica with the illegal entry of
these men from Central America.
As a matter of fact, we are not even sure which other
nationals have illegal entered our shores.
As citizens of Jamaica our health is at risk if we do not put measures
in place to curtail the number of illegal migrants entering the country.
The country needs to be proactive regarding the monitoring of
our borders. There are other related
issues surrounding a country with a porous and open border, such as human
It is estimated that the global human
trafficking industry is worth about $9.5 billion when estimated alongside other
forms of crime that are linked to it. According to some estimates over 27
million people are enslaved in the world. Of this number 800,000 to 900, 000
are trafficked across international borders yearly.
Protecting one’s borders from the illegal movement of people,
weapons and drugs is paramount to a country’s national security and economic
prosperity to which we all strive for.