Category Archives: Uncategorized

The World Bank and The Displaced in Jamaica and the Developing World.

An interesting article in the Huffington Post reveals that:

“Over the last decade, projects funded by the World Bank have physically or economically displaced an estimated 3.4 million people, forcing them from their homes, taking their land or damaging their livelihoods.”

  • To date, the most affected regions have been Asia, Africa, and South America. Doing comparatively well, only 14% of all World Bank funded projects in Jamaica has resulted in persons being displaced.
  • While The World Bank has not played an active role in the displacement persons, it's admit to dropping the ball on providing oversight in how governments choose to carry out development projects.

  • In 2014, according to estimates published by the China-Latin America Finance Database, loans by China's state-owned banks to Latin American countries rose by 71% to $22bn (£14bn) in 2014–surpassing The coffers of the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank combined.
  • It would be interesting to see a comparison of how Chinese investment handles the issue of oversight and sustainable development.



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Posted by on April 17, 2015 in Uncategorized


An interesting look at the correlation between free trade and violence in Mexico compliments of in Sight Crime


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Posted by on April 14, 2015 in Uncategorized



Click on image for a list of ELEVEN headline making terror groups.
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Posted by on April 10, 2015 in Uncategorized


Before you give someone a test, make sure you have the answer key…


Early next month, U.S president Barack Obama will be visiting Jamaica en-route to the 2015 Summit of the Americas to be held in Panama City, Panama. In the wake of his arrival, Brian Pengelley, president of the Jamaica Manufacturer’s Association has publicly indicated a desire to, “quiz Obama on medical marijuana” to determine if the “U.S would welcome the island’s push to export medical marijuana to the larger US market”.

However, one has to question whether this isn’t a bit premature?

Although I confess that I am not an expert in economics, it seems logical that any form of export led growth in marijuana would automatically imply the need to open up Jamaica’s domestic market in marijuana to foreign competition in exchange for market access. this means, if we push to export marijuana, then we must be prepared to consider importing marijuana from the US or any other country for that matter that we choose to do business with, as it related to the drug. The problem stands that this requires Jamaica to  have a well established domestic market, which at this time is a bit premature.

Less than one month ago, February 6, 2015 to be exact, the Jamaican senate passed a bill amending the Dangerous Drugs Act to decriminalize ganja for medicinal, religious, scientific, and therapeutic purposes. Under the new Act, individuals who are found in possession of 2 ounces or less of marijuana on their persons will be charged with a non-arrestable but ticketable infraction. Under the amendment, the smoking of marijuana in public spaces is still prohibited, except of course for specific places of Rastafarian worship that have been registered as such.

zoom.phpIs there a demand within Jamaica’s domestic market? Yes-

Do we have target consumers? Yes

Do we have a legal framework in place to accommodate commercial production- No

Despite the growing demand for medical  marijuana domestically, one could argue that this demand is too limited to reap any positive gains from an import/export market. Given our economies of scale, the quid pro quo of export/import would be more ideal once a legal framework is in place that allows for the recreational use and possession of marijuana [possibly restricting recreational possession to 1ounce], restrictions on purchasing amounts per person per day, the regulated sale and use of various forms of marijuana in established public spaces, and legislation tied to cultivation and to stand laws such as driving under the influence, etc. Not only would this lay a foundation for a strong domestic market but it would also create niche markets in trade and tourism. Before we rush into thought of exportation, Jamaica needs to create and develop and responsible culture of use.

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Posted by on March 19, 2015 in Uncategorized


The Cost of Corruption…Jamaica’s Barrier to Prosperity

This was suppose be a part of #TBT..for those who have not yet viewed this video, enjoy

The video was published on Feb 5, 2013 by NIA
National Integrity Action (NIA) is a not-for-profit organization that was launched in December 2011 with the objective of combatting corruption in Jamaica on a non-partisan basis.
This film, produced by NIA, graphically details four episodes in Jamaica’s 50-year Post-Independence history, each of which speaks to how corruption undermines Jamaica’s achievements.

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Posted by on March 18, 2015 in Uncategorized


Homegrown, gourmet pot on the rise in Mexico- Associated Press March 16

I have been watching with fascination the decriminalization of marijuana in the US. I have also noted some interesting trends in how the strengthening culture for legalization of marijuana  across the various States has 16794impact the Caribbean and Latin American region. More recently an article in the Washington Post highlighting a growing market for gourmet pot from the U.S has, in my mind, identified some interesting points. It has only been a year since the first US State  legalized medical and recreational use of marijuana is small amounts, however legalization has already created a thriving and fast growing market for marijuana with domestic markets and now there is a growing international demand for homegrown gourmet pot from the US. The engines of neoliberal economic growth, has altered the traditional dynamics of supply and demand for Marijuana between the developing world and the developed. While illicit markets for Marijuana remain; the legalization of Marijuana in the US market  has helped to filter some of the demand for illegal marijuana towards a legal market. Competition has lead to legal  medical and recreational domestic markets diversifying marijuana and creating several strains and varieties. Legalization has also created avenues for domestic suppliers to drive down the cost of production for Marijuana therefore making it more affordable and competitive. Of concern to me, is the shift towards an increasing demand for US grown marijuana–now termed gourmet pot (given its diversification)–among pop smokers in the developing world.  If marijuana becomes just another legal good, what can developing countries such as Jamaica do to protect the value and the comparative cost of this product in a global economy?

[click  picture below to open article in Washington Post]


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Posted by on March 17, 2015 in Uncategorized


The Destruction of Paradise is Ongoing

we face a conundrum because history also tells is that development cannot take place in a vacuum

Petchary's Blog

On September 1, 2014 I wrote a blog post entitled: “The Systematic Dismantling of Paradise: A Preliminary Checklist.”  Well, here is an update. Six months later, the dismantling continues, unabated. If anything, it has accelerated.

A boat on Lake Nicaragua. Yes, that is the (not entirely dormant) A boat on Lake Nicaragua. Yes, that is one of the twin volcanos of Ometepe Island in the background (not entirely dormant). Ometepe is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve

Let’s start in Central America, shall we? In Nicaragua, the Hong Kong-based HKND Group (reportedly backed by the Chinese Government) is still working on its planned canal project. We should not underestimate the scale. In a January 20, 2015 article headlined “Land of Opportunity – and Fear – Along Route of Nicaragua’s Giant New Canal” the UK Guardian notes: In an era of breathtaking, earth-changing engineering projects, this has been billed as the biggest of them all. Three times as long and almost twice as…

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Posted by on March 16, 2015 in Uncategorized


Corruption in Latin America:Democracy to the Rescue-Economist

This is a good article on corruption in Latin America, and by extension highlights some of the very issues and challenges faced by countries of the Caribbean. However, I find fault with this idea that corruption is only a problem predominantly faced by non-democracies and new, young, and promising democracies. The article rightly highlights the shortfall in states who once  accepted the notion that democratization and market reform policies would somehow curb corruption, yet it should also highlight the irony of anti-corruption policies that promote the minimizing of  government regulations on markets. Let us not lose sight of the fact that even within one of the most established democracies in the world–the U.S–they still struggles with corruption related to financial regulations, political financing and, government and politics. Inside trading, loopholes for shell companies and trust to evade regulation. Freud and embezzlement charges at the political level, and the strength of super PACs.

[click on image to go to article]

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Posted by on March 13, 2015 in Uncategorized


Latest Reports on Chronic Poverty in Latin America

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Posted by on March 11, 2015 in Uncategorized


Congress and Civil-Military Relations in Latin America and the Caribbean: Human Rights as a Vehicle

Chapter 10 Congress and Civil-Military Relations in Latin America and the Caribbean: Human Rights as a Vehicle by Frank O. Mora and Michelle Munroe

[click to enlarge]


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Posted by on March 10, 2015 in Uncategorized