Located within the heart of the Caribbean Sea and home to nearly 2.9 million people, Jamaica is a country renowned for it's beach side resorts, exotic wildlife, delicious street food and famous artists and athletes alike.
But despite all it's scenic postcard worthy landscapes and getaways, the country has a much darker, less spoken side to it. Criminal enterprise is alive and well in Jamaica, and similarly to the quasi-paramilitary groups of Brazil these organizations are in a constant battle with the government and one of the most homicidal police forces on the planet in order to control turf, gain public approval and introduce their own forms of criminal government and justice.
Yet at the same time, criminal groups in Jamaica are inherently tied to the very political entities they seek to rebel against. Within the impoverished garrisons of Jamaica, criminal groups are well known to align themselves with one of the countries two major parties.
The Democratic Socialists of the People's National Party or, PNP - associated with the colour orange.
Or the more Conservative Jamaican Labour Party or, JLP - commonly associated with the colour green.
These two political associations are at the forefront of what is traditionally a two-party state, and are each locked in their own battle for public approval and influence. Within the Jamaican garrisons these battles often take a very real and literal form. With gunmen from PNP or JLP aligned militias and gangs storming the garrisons of their rivals in a constant cycle of tit for tat killings.
In many instances there has been widespread speculation of these parties funding the very gangs they're meant to be combating. Biographies and interviews with criminals from such organizations as the Shower Posse - Jamaica's most well known criminal syndicate - criminals claim to have received stipends and construction contracts from the JLP.
If potential government collusion wasn't bad enough, these criminal groups are just as numerous as they are powerful. With one Jamaican pastor listing off 190 gangs operating within the territory in one sitting. Many of which are named after the garrisons they hail from or various weapons, characteristics or other tools of the trade.