A month or so ago it was announced that the FBI would be opening an office in Jamaica. According to the US Embassy, the FBI has had a presence in Jamaica for many years; the only difference moving forward is that their personnel will now be based in the country rather than working out of offices in other parts of the Caribbean.

The increased presence of the FBI in Jamaica is, in large part, in response to the impact of Jamaican lottery scammers on US citizens. The Federal Trade Commission estimates that the financial impact of Jamaican lottery scamming on American citizens could be as high as US$1billion per year. Understandibly, both the US and Jamaican governments are eager to curtail this criminal activity as quickly as possible.

This isn’t the only time the US has involved itself in Jamaican politics. In fact, many believe that Jamaica’s most significant crime problems are the result of American efforts to destablize the Jamaican government of the 1970s and 80s. Marlon James’ Man Booker award winning novel A Brief History of Seven Killings tells a fictionalized version of part of the story, but for the sordid details, I recommend an article from the Centre for Research on Globalization entitled Jamaica’s Shower Posse: How The CIA Created “The Most Notorious Criminal Organization”; it is a quick but enlightening read (perfect for tea time, John!).