The top American diplomat in Jamaica has questioned why local authorities have not been able to stem the flow of illegal guns coming into the island.
At the same time, United States (US) ambassador to Jamaica, Donald Tapia, has disclosed that authorities in the US are getting ready to ramp up scrutiny of cargo containers, one of the main channels used by criminal networks to supply their cronies here with guns and ammunition.
Since the start of the year, a total of 1,133 persons have been murdered across the island, including 62 in the past two weeks, according to the latest Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) Serious and Violent Crime Review.
A firearm was used in 942, or 83 per cent, of those killings, the JCF statistics revealed.
Up to 2016, the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives conducted traces on 1,509 illegal guns seized on the streets of Jamaica and found that nearly 65 per cent were either manufactured in the US or legally imported there.
But Tapia appeared to bristle at questions about what American authorities were doing to staunch gunrunning from US ports.