After winning Nobel, Carter in Jamaica to monitor election

October 17, 2002
KINGSTON, Jamaica – Just days after winning the Nobel Peace Prize, Jimmy Carter climbs aboard a beige van and hurries to a polling station in a gritty Kingston neighborhood where goats dart across potholed streets and residents dodge stray bullets.

Wearing white tennis shoes and flashing his trademark smile, the 78-year-old ex-president is on the job again–leading a 59-member delegation and observing Jamaica’s general elections.

Carter, who has been critical of U.S. policy toward Iraq, was tightlipped on Middle East issues in an interview with the Associated Press but candid over troubles facing developing countries such as Jamaica and Haiti, where his Atlanta-based Carter Center has observed five elections. Read more >>

Crime Focus of Jamaica Election

October 15, 2002
KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) _ In a land known more for reggae and sun-splashed vacations, general elections could make or break this nation as it struggles to stem spiraling crime and revive a sluggish economy.

Three people were shot dead Tuesday in the gritty outskirts of Kingston, the capital, including an elderly man hit outside his tin-roofed home in Trench Town, the run-down neighborhood where reggae legend Bob Marley lived.

“Most of these shootings are about money or drugs, not politics,” said Petunia Williams, 30, as her sobbing toddler clasped her legs and police fanned out in search of the unidentified man’s killer. “But you can’t help being scared sometimes. It’s become a fact of life.”

Former President Jimmy Carter and 59 observers are part of an international delegation monitoring the parliamentary elections scheduled for Wednesday. Carter, this year’s Nobel Peace Prize winner, said the violence is troubling, but things have improved. Read more >>

Queen Elizabeth II begins visit to Jamaica

February 19, 2002
KINGSTON, Jamaica — Queen Elizabeth II arrived Monday on a visit to Jamaica, where she remains ceremonial monarch but citizens are increasingly questioning their centuries-old ties to the crown.

She was met on a red carpet at Kingston’s international airport by Prime Minister P.J. Patterson and Gov. Gen. Howard Cooke, the Jamaican who performs the largely symbolic role of representing the queen here.

Cannons fired the 21-gun salute reserved for heads of state, and then a military band played Jamaica’s national anthem as the queen inspected members of an honor guard in scarlet dress uniforms.

The 75-year-old monarch, who is accompanied by her husband, Prince Philip, is on a journey that will also include visits to the former colonies of Canada and Australia. Read more >>