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May 27, 2010

Red Cross tells News 5 that it has assessed Tivoli Gardens

More than seventy persons are confirmed dead, casualties of the battle in Jamaica. There is still a state of emergency and in one area, Denem Town, the shootings continue between police and gang members. The area, however, where the first blood was drawn, Tivoli Gardens, is less active, as hundreds of arrests have been made.  So while shooting incidents between the Jamaican Police Department and the Shower Posse gang have cooled down, the Red Cross has been able to move in and provide assistance to residents of Tivoli who are behind the barricade.  News Five spoke to Doctor Jaslin Salmon, Red Cross’ president in Jamaica, who entered Tivoli Gardens earlier today in order to assess the situation.

Dr. Jaslin Salmon, President, Red Cross Jamaica

“In Tivoli Gardens, that’s where the operation began and that’s where the fighting between the security forces and the gangs took place.  We went in to Tivoli Gardens on Tuesday to assess the situation there for ourselves.  We found that the people were under siege.  They had not been out of their homes for these few days and were not allowed to move around.  We did not find any injured persons in the homes that we visited and there was not a lot of carnage in the communities that we visited. So we went ahead and made our assessment and determined that there were some people who needed medication and could not get those medications so we took the prescriptions and we filled those prescriptions for them and we delivered them to them this morning.  We also realize that if they are locked in for a number of days then food shortages will begin to occur.  So we have prepared packages of food and we are now distributing those packages.”

Jose Sanchez

“When it comes to the actual violence, has it ended?  How much violence are you hearing happening at this time in Tivoli Gardens?”

Dr. Jaslin Salmon

“In Tivoli Gardens there was quite a bit of violence but it manifested itself mainly in the number of deaths.  We did not see injured people injured people and about four hundred men up to Tuesday and today we were told about five hundred men were arrested and being held in custody.  They are being processed at this time.  From the Red Cross point of view, the need to ensure that their rights are protected and that there is no mistreatment and we are impressed at the extent which efforts are being made not to destroy property.  We are currently providing food supplies for them.”

Doctor Salmon says that they have been unable to get food supplies into Denem Town, another affected area, because of the fighting. But the police assured Doctor Salmon that the Red Cross would be able to enter that area by Friday morning.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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