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Gang’s “shotgun”boast

West Bay gang members pose with what appears to be a shotgun on Facebook.

Detectives say they are keeping a close eye on the social networking site as part of the effort to identify crooks and prevent
further mayhem.

Today, we reveal the Jamaican origins of the war that has so far taken four lives and thrown Cayman into chaos.

Fifth shooting victim Keith Montique remains in serious condition in hospital overseas after he was shot four times.

Dancehall origins of West Bay war

Their origins lie in Reggae Dancehall music and Jamaica’s “warring” Gaza and Gully factions, except that what started as lyrical challenges has exploded in Cayman into deadly violence.

Vybz Kartel, representing “Gaza”

While their Jamaican followers idolised their heroes — Vybz Kartel, from Portmore, nicknamed “Gaza” — after the squalid Palestinian area in the Middle East — in St Katherine parish, and Mavado, from Gully, the Cassava Piece neighborhood in Kingston — their partisans in West Bay’s opposing “Birch Tree Hill” and “Logwoodz Dons” gangs appear to have adopted as real the implicit violence, disregard for the law and threats of firearms.

Meanwhile, Birch Tree Hill’s Keith Montique, 22, the surviving victim of Monday night’s double shooting in George Town’s Cranbrook Drive, lies in hospital suffering four bullet wounds. Companion Jason Christian, 18, was killed in the assault.

After emergency surgery in George Town, Mr. Montique was flown off-island on Tuesday morning for further treatment. A spokesman at the overseas hospital would say only that he was in “stable” condition.

While the Jamaican conflict was resolved in a joint Vybz Kartel-Mavado 2009 concert – promoted incidentally, by Jamaican drug and firearms kingpin Christopher “Dudus” Coke – the West Bay gangs do not seem to have managed a truce.


Facebook postings by both sides have glorified their defiance and threats, displaying firearms, gang signs and written warnings to say “nuttin’” to police.

Starting with last Tuesday’s shooting death of Logwoodz “general” Robert Bush, followed by Thursday’s execution of Birth Tree Hill’s Andrew Baptist, followed by the Saturday murder of Logwoodz’ Preston Rivers, the violence has spiraled out of control.

Commissioner of Police David Baines, Governor Duncan Taylor and Premier McKeeva Bush have been forced into emergency meetings, planning increased police patrols and legislative changes to enable quicker response to firearms incidents. Mr. Bush has gone on radio seeking to calm increasingly alarmed residents, not only of West Bay but the larger Grand Cayman community.

Jamaican newspaper columnist, pundit and social commentator Ian Boyne has described the Gaza-Gully war as “a manifestation of largely aggressive, intolerant, divisive and tribalistic culture that long predated Dancehall”, but which, he said had reinforced the distinction.

Keith Montique

“Violence does not have the social stigma in Dancehall as in the general culture. It is not abhorred, but glorified, eulogised and magnified.”

The victims, he said were “mainly ghetto youth being victimised as a result.”


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