Thursday, May 22, 2014, Kingston, Jamaica – To the families who lost seven daughters and to the girls who endured immeasurable anguish during the Armadale Juvenile Correctional Center tragedy five years ago, there is nothing that will fill the hole in your hearts on this the fifth anniversary of that tragic event that should never have occurred. To the families who mourn the more than 70 citizens lost at the hands of the State during the West Kingston incursion, we can never know the depth of your pain, the extent of your loss. But know this: Your nation mourns with you for who and what you lost. We join you in your grief. We support the living victims who escaped the Armadale inferno who we know will pull through over time. We support West Kingston families who need to know what occurred in Tivoli those fateful 5 days 4 years ago. We support their demand to know who killed their kin and how, and for what reason.
We can neither forget these events nor tolerate such disasters anymore. Justice for the victims demand that our nation reflects on these tragedies, acknowledge that not enough has been done to prevent such events from happening again, and together ensure that meaningful change occurs. Five years after Armadale violence against children remains high. More than 1600 children have been murdered since the year 2000. Every year since the Tivoli incursion the State has killed more than 200 people.
“We can no longer tolerate this situation that is worsened by lack of accountability that rubs saltpeter into victims’ wounds”, said Kay Osborne, Executive Director, Jamaicans for Justice. “Our people are tough and resilient but enough is enough. We join citizens everywhere who demand and work for meaningful change so citizens can live in safe communities that are unthreatened by violence from any source, regardless of their socio-economic circumstances.”