Jamaica. According to countryaah, Jamaica’s 67-year-old Governor-General Sir Kenneth Hall announced in January that he has decided to step down for health reasons. Hall was replaced by Patrick Allen, who was installed as the nation’s sixth Governor General at a ceremony in the capital Kingston on February 26. Allen, 58, had been active, among other things, in the Protestant community of the Seventh-day Adventists.
On the evening of April 19, a Canadian aircraft carrying 174 passengers and crew on board at the international airport in the city of Montego Bay was hijacked. The hijacking was carried out by a lonely 21-year-old Jamaican man who was later described by the country’s information ministry as a mentally unstable youngster. The hijacker demanded that the plane fly to Cuba. After eight hours of tense waiting, all on board could be released unharmed by police and soldiers storming the aircraft. The hijacker gave up without resistance. In October, the 21-year-old was sentenced to a total of 83 years in prison for a number of serious crimes in connection with the hijacking. But since he began serving all the punishments at the same time, the man would in practice be jailed for 20 years.
The joint passport for the CARICOM countries became valid during the year. As Jamaica is a member of the Caribbean Community Regional Cooperation (CARICOM), the Jamaicans were able to start using the passport. CARICOM works to increase regional integration between the member states, for example in foreign policy and the economy.
The country’s biggest sprinter star of all time, Usain Bolt, won three gold medals in the athletics world championships in Berlin in August. Bolt won new world record times in the 100 meters and 200 meters. Victory times were 9.58 seconds and 19.19 seconds respectively. Bolt was also a member of the Jamaican relay team that won four times a hundred yards. Also the baton for ladies at four times a hundred meters was won by Jamaica.