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The island - discovered by Christopher COLUMBUS in 1494 - was settled by the Spanish early in the 16th century. The native Taino Indians, who had inhabited Jamaica for centuries, were gradually exterminated and replaced by African slaves. England seized the island in 1655 and established a plantation economy based on sugar, cocoa, and coffee. The abolition of slavery in 1834 freed a quarter million slaves, many of whom became small farmers. Jamaica gradually increased its independence from Britain. In 1958 it joined other British Caribbean colonies in forming the Federation of the West Indies. Jamaica gained full independence when it withdrew from the Federation in 1962. Deteriorating economic conditions during the 1970s led to recurrent violence as rival gangs affiliated with the major political parties evolved into powerful organized crime networks involved in international drug smuggling and money laundering. Violent crime, drug trafficking, and poverty pose significant challenges to the government today. Nonetheless, many rural and resort areas remain relatively safe and contribute substantially to the economy.


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Communications

Telephones - main lines in use World Ranking: 121
272,100 (2011)

Telephones - mobile cellular World Ranking: 124
2.975 million (2011)

Telephone system
General assessment
Fully automatic domestic telephone network
Domestic
The 1999 agreement to open the market for telecommunications services resulted in rapid growth in mobile-cellular telephone usage while the number of fixed-lines in use has declined; combined mobile-cellular teledensity exceeded 110 per 100 persons in 2011
International
Country code - 1-876; the Fibralink submarine cable network provides enhanced delivery of business and broadband traffic and is linked to the Americas Region Caribbean Ring System (ARCOS-1) submarine cable in the Dominican Republic; the link to ARCOS-1 provides seamless connectivity to US, parts of the Caribbean, Central America, and South America; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (Atlantic Ocean)

Broadcast media
Privately-owned Radio Jamaica Limited and its subsidiaries operate multiple TV stations, subscription cable services, and radio stations; 2 other privately-owned television stations; roughly 70 radio stations (2007)

Internet country code
.jm

Internet hosts World Ranking: 149
3,897 (2010)

Internet users World Ranking: 80
1.581 million (2009)


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Jamaica (Kingston):
Country Flag
Country Locator

GPS points from Jamaica (Kingston)

square Hampton Parish Of Saint Ann

square Clifton Mount Parish Of Saint Andrew

square Hermitage Parish Of Manchester

square Great Pedro Pond St. Elizabeth

square The Bath Spring Parish Of Portland

square Trafalgar Gap Parish Of Portland

square Port Morant Parish Of Saint Thomas

square Barbican Parish Of Saint Andrew




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