Rastafarian Coral Gardens Trust to be established today

Andrew Holness has apologized on behalf of the State for the Coral Gardens incident.

Documents are to be signed today to establish the Rastafarian Coral Gardens Trust for victims of the 1963 incident which some refer to as a massacre.

The signing comes after more than two years of negotiations and collaborative work between the Administrator General’s Department, Jamaicans for Justice (JFJ), Rastafari Coral Gardens Benevolent Society (RCGBS), and the Ministry of Culture to establish a feasible framework for compensation.

In 2018 Prime Minister Andrew Holness apologized on behalf of the state for the tragedy and announced that the trust fund of no less than $10 million was to be established.

The incident — which occurred in the community east of Montego Bay, St James on April 11 and 12, 1963 — claimed the lives of eight Rastafarians and left hundreds more injured and displaced.