Tue | Jun 6, 2023

Jamaica is between a rock and hard place

Published:Tuesday | December 7, 2021 | 12:05 AM


I am writing with reference to an article in The Gleaner, titled ‘Haiti extradition treaty not on front burner – Dr Chang’, published on December 3.

Good relations could turn sour very quickly between Jamaica and Haiti, or Jamaica and Colombia, over Colombian fugitive Mario Palacios Palacios, who is alleged to have played a role in the July 7 assassination of then Haitian President Jovenel Moïse. He was found to be illegally in the country, fined and ordered to be deported. He is a Colombian citizen, so he can be deported to Colombia, his home country, as is normal international procedure, unless there is an extradition request from a treaty country. Jamaica, though, has no extradition treaty with Haiti.

As Dr Chang has said on behalf of the Jamaican Government that an extradition treaty is “not on the front burner”, then there is hardly any reason to keep this man in Jamaica. Send him home to Colombia and then Haiti and Colombia can deal with the issue.

Jamaica ought not allow itself to become the unenviable referee. Jamaican court has already dealt with him and made an order, though the details of the deportation particulars have not been made public. This man may soon file a writ of habeas corpus to force his immediate release from jail and deportation to Colombia. This may displease Haiti, particularly since there is no extradition treaty between Haiti and Colombia.

Yes, Jamaica is between a rock and a hard place; this results from our porous borders where people like Palacios can enter the island and cause us to be in this unenviable position with other countries.


Brampton, ON