POPULATION:
3,620,140 Million

LITERACY RATE:
75%
SELF DEFENSE FORCES:
Jamaica Defense Force
LANGUAGES:
 English, English patois
ETHNIC GROUPS:
 Black 91.2%, mixed 6.2%, other or unknown 2.6%
BORDERING COUNTRIES:
Island nation,
JAMAICA - Until the Worldwide economic crash of the 1990's, this island nation was an independent colony of England, as well as one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Caribbean.  When the crash hit, it pretty much wiped out the tourist trade completely, and neither Europe or America had any money left over for aid.  Overnight the economy of of Jamaica, and much of the rest of the caribbean, was decimated.

Jamaica tried to balance itself by raising the prices of its exports dramatically.  Jamaican sugar and banana prices became so outrageous that soon the market simply started buying elsewhere, which left Jamaica near penniless.  Outside the tourist areas, like Montego Bay, Jamaica had been crumbling into violence from street gangs and drug cartels, when the Jamaican economy collapsed, the violence erupted tenfold.  The country that was already ranked with the 3rd highest murder rate in the world at the time became the first overnight.  Thousands were killed, often for as little as the shoes on their feet and the food in their bellies.  Great Britian had no money or resources to send to help, and Jamaica desended into madness.

Thousands tried to flee by boat, some even attempted to swim to nearby islands.  It made the Cuban exodus of the early 80's look small in comparison.  only there was no where for them to go.  More than can be counted were lost to the sea as they drifted from port to port looking for safe haven.

Then the coffin was nailed shut when the wasting plague hit.  Ironically it was also what saved them.  The disease decimated the population.  Violence levels dropped as everyone was simply too sick to start any trouble.  Unlike Suriname, which was ingored by the very europeans that introduced the disease to the ocuntry, the Europeans were quick to mobilize with the vaccine to Jamacia.  Why Jamaica was saved, and much of the rest of the region was ignored is anyones guess.  With the ford shortages, Jamaican agricultural exports were once again needed, and with the EEC recovering from the collapse, there was finally money and resources to send aid.  EDF troops were dispatched to dispense the vaccine, and to quell any smoldering violence, while the UK tried once again to establish its rule over the country.  The islanders, initially grateful for the medical aid, were not so quick to forgive the EEC treament it recieved during the collapse.  As the vaccines were rapidly distributed, resentment grew even quicker to the presence of armed EDF troops patrolling the streets.  On the morning of October 8th, 2002, armed rebels stormed the compound where the vaccine was being kept in Kingston, killing 10 EDF soldiers and medical personel, and escaping with enough of the vaccine to treat double the population of the small country.  In the weeks that followed, insurgents staged several more raids on EDF targets, and establishments that were friendly to EDF troops such as hotels, bars, and restaurants.  The EDF retaliated in force, the Jamaican government, still seen as useless and innefectual due to its failures during the collapse and the plague, was largely ingored in its please to the people to cease hostile activity.  To make matters worse, a team of american journalists who were originally covering the Plague problem in Jamaica dug in with the rebels, smuggling their stories back to American media sources with a distinctly pro-rebel slant.  With American troops deployed full force in so closely in South America, the pressure on the EDF, particularly Great Britain escalates.  In August of 2003, during an address to the public, the Governor-General is assinated when dozens of rebels rush the building with home-made satchel bombs.   EDF troops providing security managed to eliminate all but two of the rebels before they reached the stage, but the two that survived managed were more than enough to accomplish their goal.  The people, in support of the rebels, actively impede investigations and pursuits.  This led to the tragic Cedar Valley incident, when rebels, pursued by EDF troops, holed up feld to the small town.  The EDF troops pursuit was halted when many of the villagers blocked the road, singing in protest.  After a tense standoff, things quickly turned ugly when a rock was thrown, hitting the commanding officer, who ordered his troops to "Open fire on the insurgents and rebel sympathizers!"   Leaving 25 dead and over 60 wounded, the entire incident was caught on several home video cameras, copies of which made were smuggled by the american journalists back to the States and broadcast relentlessly.  With the direct threat of American intervention, as well as several other nations around the worldm, The EDF had no choice, they withdrew from the island completely.  Jamaica had won full independence.

Jamaica quickly restructured its government, based on the democratic model, and electing a president and his cabinet.  Marijuana was legalized, and the Rastafarian religion, was adopted as the official religion of Jamacia.   During the years of the collapse and the wasting plague, the religion saw a huge influx of convertws from the formerly christian predominant people.  Its historic focus of perseverance through struggle, and oppression by the whites, was readily recieved and accepted.  So much so in fact that the Rasta flag, which had already become a more widely recognizable symbol of Jamaica than its own official flag thanks to reggae artists, most notably Bob Marley, became the official flag.

While Jamaica struggled with its independence the first few years, it quickly got back on its in the early 2010's when the world was finally in a financial position to once again vacation to the caribbean.  Jamaica opened its doors once again to tourists, eager to take their money.  Their economy was again boosted during the great food shortage, when jamaican sugar, rice, and fruit was able to command high prices.

Unfortunately crime is still high in Jamaica, as street gangs still fight over turf, and tourists who attempt to travel outside the "safe areas" of Kingston and Montego, are frequently robbed, often to violent conclusion.  This has not hurt the tourist industry, on the countrary, it has priovided somewhat of a boost, especially among "thrill" seekers who want to boast about their dangerous exploits.  Trenchtown still exists, and is by far the most dangerous area of the country.  Plans are underway to turn the area into a memorial, commemorating the years of government oppression, however efforts so far have proven fruitless as the gangs controlling it become increasingly violent in defending their turf.

Because of Americas support in their fight for independence, Jamaica has aggreed to US Military presence, and bases are being built on the island now, presumably as support and resupply points for Forces that will no doubt be deployed in the inevitable Third South American War.  As such, Jamaica, along with the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, are expected to be major Rest and Relaxation ports for American Servicemen.

     



(Written by Deric Bernier.)