Two hundred metres into death
FOR MANY Jamaicans, the four-lane carriageway, Washington Boulevard, is the quickest and easiest way into and out of the Corporate Area.
But for residents of Maverley and Drewsland, Washington Boulevard represents a border that they cross at their own risk.
These residents know that the 10-second skip across the Boulevard could mark the end of their lives, as heavily armed gangsters from the two communities patrol the area on the hunt for anyone who 'strays'.
Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) Private Tursha Lambert Lee obviously did not know about the danger of crossing the border, and paid with his life on Friday.
Paid with his life
The 23-year-old had gone to Drewsland to visit his sister, before crossing the roadway to a bus stop shortly before seven Friday morning. While at the bus stop, he was pounced on by a group of men who shot him, several times, killing him.
"The man never inna no war, Him just never know seh him can't cross the road, and the criminal dem kill him," a Drews-land resident lamented as she stared at the lifeless body of the JDF private who lived in Morgan Pass, Clarendon, two parishes away from the 'war'.
Lee joined a growing list of persons killed in the past year along the nearly two-hundred-metre stretch of Washington Boulevard for no other reason than they lived in Maverley or Drewsland.
"Dem kill a big man at the bus stop one morning. Then dem kill the dread who had the radiator shop, and nuff more man get shot out there," a Maverley resident told The Sunday Gleaner.
"Me use to tek bus out dey (Washington Boulevard), but now me go up the road to Molynes Road because me nah go be no target," said a Drewsland resident whose trip to work has increased by more than 10 minutes because she can no longer make the quick trip across the Boulevard.
On either side of the border, residents say they do not know what has sparked the bloody dispute between gangsters from the lower section of Maverley and the area known as Bottom Drewsland.
"De man dem a fren, and de first time me know seh dem a war is when de Drewsland man dem kill a yute on Elmer Crescent in Maverley," a resident said.
Since that shooting, the victims have included a 15-year-old boy killed in Maverley, a seven-year-old girl killed in Drewsland, a 23-year-old woman in Maverley, and four other persons from both sides.
"The worst thing is that none of the 10 or so people who get killed in the year nuh involve inna de war. A pure innocent people dem a kill, and dem nah kill de man dem who inna war," a Drewsland resident declard yesterday.
She pointed out that the small businesses which line Wash-ington Boulevard are hurting as their support comes from persons in both communities who now cannot cross the border.
The man never inna no war. Him just never know seh him can't cross the road, and the criminal dem kill him.