The Third Border: American Guns in the Caribbean

Weapons of mass destruction operating in slow motion” is one of the metaphors used to describe the impact of U.S.-sourced firearms upon the communities and countries of the Caribbean and, specifically, the threat to the region’s young males. However, the violence that was originally focused on young males has spilled over into whole communities—police reported the murders of more than 60 children in Jamaica alone since January 2013.1

Clearly, the presence of guns is not a small-scale matter for the region. Jamaica is one of the countries most affected by an influx of weapons, and it seized over $30 million worth of guns and ammunition between January 1 and May 24, 2014. That one country also reported more than 450 shootings over the same time period. 2