News America, KINGSTON, Jamaica, Thurs. Nov. 9, 2023: Jamaica’s Prime Minister Andrew Holness has strongly condemned the “barbaric and merciless” murder of two schoolboys in Jamaica earlier this week, emphasizing that all forms of violence are abhorrent and must be severely punished. The victims, Justin Perry and Nacholive Smith of Chetwood Primary School, were shot and killed by gunmen while traveling in a taxi in the Flower Hill community of the Salt Spring area, which is plagued by an ongoing gang feud.
Holness expressed his heartfelt condolences to the victims’ families and urged all Jamaicans to offer support and comfort during this tragic time. The Prime Minister highlighted the alarming increase in violent crime, with figures showing 1,159 murders in Jamaica as of October 28, compared to 1,301 during the same period the previous year.
He stressed that violence in all its forms should be strongly condemned and punished but emphasized that when it affects innocent children, society must unite and say, “Enough is enough.” Holness referred to the perpetrators as “criminal terrorists” and called for stronger punitive measures to deter such acts of terror.
He underlined his government’s commitment to enhancing the capacity and capabilities of the security forces to combat criminal terrorists, citing recent legislative changes to increase penalties for illegal firearm possession and amendments to the penalty scheme for murder. Holness called on Jamaicans to unite in condemning these heinous acts and to support measures aimed at preventing their recurrence.