The 2009 Jamaica- USA Extradition Affair: a Securitized Response to Jamaica's Drug Problem


  • Suzette A. Haughton The University of the West Indies


This paper utilizes the notion of securitization as a framework for explaining Jamaica's security response to the 2009 Jamaica-USA Extradition Affair. The Extradition Treaty between the two countries is an important agreement used to address Jamaica's drug trafficking problem. The paper argues that Jamaica's official state response in this extradition matter was securitized, and it supports this argument in three ways. First, it explains the securitization model as an important analytical tool in security studies. Second, the paper discusses the production of drug trafficking as a security problem in Jamaica. Further, it demonstrates how the 2009 affair was securitized, culminating in the death of seventy-five Jamaicans before the capture and extradition of the alleged drug cartel. Finally, the paper questions whether, because of the responses it generates, securitization of the drug threat remains a useful policy option for the Jamaican state rather than an alternative of de-securitization. It concludes that, despite the benefits of de-securitization, internal conditions still support the continued securitization of Jamaica's drug problem.




Original Research Articles