Several fake news stories Involving Jamaica are circulating on social media. One story discusses “missing people, organ reaping and other such gruesome acts,” according to Robert Montague, Jamaica’s Minister of National Security. Montague went on to make a passionate request that those responsible for spreading this story and gruesome images associated with it to immediately stop as it is causing extreme distress to the family and friends of those affected. One of the images claims to show the harvesting of organs from a woman’s body. Following extensive checks by police and other authorities, the image in question was actually the autopsy of a woman killed in an accident in 2014. Montague said that police and related entities believe the story stems from a small group of individuals who are creating fear and panic among Jamaicans. Montague is asking the public to share any information they have about this story with police rather than circulate it on social media.
Another fake news story states that Prime Minister Andrew Holness has said that Jamaica “is on the verge” of becoming a United States territory. According to the false news story, Holness commented that this action “has been a request on the table for quite some time” and that the new US Republican administration is making it “favorable” for Jamaica to pursue it. Guyana was also mentioned in the fake news stories as being “on the verge” of becoming a US territory.
The fake news stories are causing considerable anxiety in the Caribbean Diaspora. In addition to those described above, there are false claims that US Immigration and Customs (ICE) agents are planning raids on Caribbean restaurants and Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn, New York. According to Irwine Clare, Sr., the managing director of Caribbean Immigrant Services, this information is completely false, but many restaurants are reporting decreased business as immigrants fear coming out and then being detained and deported.