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JAMAICAN DIASPORA NEWS: February 7th – 13th, 2015

EXTRADITION SOUGHT IN DEATH OF CAR MART MANAGER—02/07/15
Paula Llewellyn, the Director of Public Prosecutors (DPP), says that police in Jamaica have asked for the extradition of a second suspect connected to the murder of Robert Mendez, manager of Payless Car Mart. Mendez, 41, was shot and killed by two men posing as customers in April 2014. Superintendent Michael Phipps, head of the Major Investigation Task Force, has confirmed that the second man was held in Canada.

LITERACY CAMPAIGN LAUNCHED BY JAMAICAN SELF-HELP—02/08/15
A development charity Jamaican Self-Help has started a special campaign designed to raise money for a literacy program in Kingston. Campaign Literacy is a one-month initiative established to raise $10,000 to help primary school children and young adults learn to read and write. For every $100 donation, one child will be able to have literacy classes for one year. Jamaican Self-Help supports programs at two community centers and three primary schools in Jamaica.

JAMAICAN FINED FOR DRUG TRAFFICKING—02/09/15
Lincoln Dennis Barnes, 62, has been arrested and charged by Barbados drug authorities for several drug offenses. The Jamaican national was interviewed by police at Grantley Adams international Airport in Barbados upon his arrival, and then was referred to Queen Elizabeth Hospital where he passed 47 packages of a drug he had ingested. He was charged with possession of cannabis, intent to supply, trafficking, and importation of the drug. He pleaded guilty to the charges.

SIX-PART MINI-SERIES DIRECTED BY JAMAICAN ON BET TV—02/10/15
A six-part mini-series directed by Jamaica’s Clement Virgo will air on BET television in February 2015. “The Book of Negroes” is based on a novel by Canadian Lawrence Hill. It tells the story of an African woman who is sold into slavery and who subsequently makes her way to Canada, Sierra Leone and England where she gains her freedom. Virgo, who was born in Montego Bay but who has lived in Canada since age 11, has had several films shown at the Toronto International Film Festival and the Cannes Film Festival and has directed television programs including “The Wire” and “The L Word.”. He directed and also wrote the screenplay for this latest work.

JAMAICANS EAGER TO LEAVE ISLAND, STUDY FINDS—02/11/15
A recent poll has discovered that 43 percent of Jamaicans surveyed have a desire to leave the home island within the next five years. An additional 39 percent stated that no one among their family members had shown an interest in migrating; 18 percent did not know if anyone in the family wanted to leave Jamaica. The poll’s findings were consistent with those of another survey from the Center for Leadership and Governance at the University of the West Indies, which found that nearly half of all young Jamaicans would give up their citizenship and take up residence in a country other than Jamaica.

FIRST JAMAICAN EXTRADITED FOR U.S. LOTTERY SCAM—02/12/15
Damion Bryan Barrett, 28, is the first Jamaican to face extradition from the United States on charges relating to the defrauding of Americans in a lottery scam. According to the U.S. Justice Department, Barrett was extradited because he committed fraud as part of a global lottery scheme that targeted elderly Americans.

FIRST CARIBE FILM FESTIVAL TO OPEN IN MIAMI—02/13/15
Filmmakers will be celebrating Black History Month as well as the diversity of Caribbean cultures at the first annual Caribe Film Fest, which will take place on February 27 and 28, 2015, in Miami, Florida. The event will be housed at the Little Haiti Cultural Complex and will feature panel discussions, technical workshops, industry networking, and an extensive array of independent films over the two days.

ANJU BLAXXX ARRESTED IN U.S. IN CONNECTION WITH LOTTERY SCAM—02/13/15
The Jamaican music producer Anju Blaxxx is out on bail after appearing in a United States District Court in Miami, Florida, on charges related to a lottery scam. Blaxxx faces charges in North Dakota involving mail and wire fraud arising from telemarketing fraud. The district judge granted bail, but the federal prosecutors in the case are appealing that ruling.

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Written by Staff Writer