World Bank: Caribbean murder rates hurting growth
MIAMI (Reuters) – Rising murder rates have made the tourism-dependent Caribbean possibly the bloodiest region in the world and are severely affecting potential economic growth, the World Bank said in a report on Thursday.
… from a Reuters world news report
When You Have Declared Yourself To Be A Family Member, Your Brother’s Reputation Is Yours
Time and time again, Barbados is lumped into “the Caribbean” in news and NGO reports. Whether the subject is murder and crime statistics, literacy levels or societal values, Barbados is never mentioned as a separate society or even as an independent and sovereign nation. The crime reports and tourist horror stories in the world media seldom (as in “never”) say, “However, things are very different in Barbados…”
As recent murders have shown, we have our own crime troubles in Barbados, but they are minimal in comparison to most of the other Caribbean nations. Yes, we see the trends, and yes, we have taken the government to task for ignoring, under-paying and under-valuing our Royal Barbados Police Force – but to have the world’s perception of public safety issues in Barbados based upon reports of gang warfare in Jamaica, drug assassinations in the Dominican Republic or the chaos in Haiti is both inaccurate and unfair.
What has the government done to distance ourselves from the rest of a troubled Caribbean?
What has the government done to establish the notion in the minds of potential tourists and investors that Barbados is NOT the Caribbean? Nothing. In fact, the message from the Barbados government has probably harmed our interests more than helped.
The message from the government of Barbados has actually been to embrace the rest of the Caribbean through CARICOM and to proclaim that “we are one.” The recent Cricket World Cup was in many ways supposed to be a CARICOM showpiece. Just one big Caribbean nation.
So when the World Bank proclaims that the Caribbean has the highest murder rate in the world – that’s Barbados too in the minds of the traveling and investing public in North America, Europe and those “new markets” in Asia that Noel Lynch and the boys are always talking about.
Goodbye, Barbados – Hello Caribbean gang wars.
Just one big happy CARICOM family now.
Great strategy, Mr. Prime Minister. Just great.
United Nations Press Release – High Levels Of Crime And Violence Threaten Caribbean Growth And Prosperity
U.N. Report, Full Text PDF – Crime, Violence, and Development: Trends, Costs, and Policy Options In The Caribbean (PDF)
Jamaica Gleaner – That World Bank Crime Report
ABS Philippines – World Bank: Caribbean Murder Rates Hurting Growth
McLatchy Washington Bureau – Crime Costs Steep In The Caribbean, World Bank and U.N. Say