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Prior to 1834, when slavery was abolished, blacks in Jamaica fought a bitter and often futile battle to free themselves from the savage institution of slavery. The Maroons were well known as Jamaica's only successful black resistance movement. For centuries, they menaced British troops, looted plantations, and carried off slave recruits to the precipitous mountains in retaliation against abuses. Their successful guerrilla warfare abated in 1739 and 1795 when Maroon chiefs signed peace treaties with the British government.

Colonel Meade, who is also the JDF’s spokesperson, says the training procedure is of paramount importance. Training is done at the highest international standard, which allows the JDF to respond to unpredictable situations.
Citing the recent devastating earthquake in Haiti, he says the work carried out by the JDF in that instance, demonstrated their ability to respond effectively, both regionally and locally.
“Recently we had to respond to a devastating disaster and what that demonstrated is two things: our ability to respond to disasters like earthquake; and our ability to help our partners in the region. Jamaica was actually the first country to respond to the situation in Haiti and the Prime Minister, the Hon. Bruce Golding, was able to travel to Haiti on the second day, because the JDF was standing ready to go in,” he outlines.
Highlighting some significant achievements of the JDF, the Colonel says Jamaicans should not underestimate the work of the force. He says the hijacking of the Canadian Aircraft and the Tivoli incursion are pointers to the relevance of an army to the country.
“Many people look at the Tivoli situation in terms of us helping the police to serve a warrant. When in fact, the gangs were trying to prevent the warrant from being served and decided to make the community inaccessible to the state and to assault agents of the state, that is actually the beginning of insurgency,” he declares.
” So had the JDF not stepped in to assist the police, then the criminal elements would have been emboldened. They would have thought that they can take on the entire state and maybe seek to go after the government structures, and so what we did was significant.”

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