Accompong, well-known isolated rural community in Jamaica, is a historical isolated Maroon village that can be found in the country’s parish St. Elizabeth. It is located in Cockpit country. Since the community forged its strong foundation, the community escaped colonization from the Spanish in the 1600’s, and later, the British.
Years of raiding and warfare allowed them to establish autonomy, self-governance and recognition as an indigenous people by a peace treaty with the British in 1739. The Jamaican government gaining independence did not interrupt their self-government, as even after August 6, 1962, the indigenous rights of Jamaican Maroons were still recognized.
The community is run by a chief who is elected by voting. The current chief is Chief Richard Currie.
Accompong sits on over 2500 acres of land, and has over 1000 residents.
In a country with such a high crime rate, it is interesting that one community can defy the odds to the extent Accompong does. It is even more interesting to note that their independence was gained through brutality and hostility: much like any other body that gained independence, and furthermore, gained power. For example, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, or Christianity. This small area is like a country on an island. Likkle, but tallawah.
Ironically, though Accompong fought hard for their rights, not easing up on taking hostile steps, this community is one of the most peaceful communities in Jamaica.
A 2018 article recognized that Accompong recorded 2 murders in 280 years.
A 2021 article stated that Accompong recorded 3 murders in the past 5 years.
And this article on McKoy’s News gives details about a shooting death that occured in January, 2022. In total, this is 4 deaths in a matter of centuries.
If the murders seem to be climbing, this is still no comparison to the crime statistics in the entire country. For context, Trelawny recorded 216.7% more murders for the period January-June 2022, compared to the same period last year, when only 6 murders were recorded.
Finance Minister Audley Shaw, in 2018, while at an event to mark the 280th anniversary celebrating the signing of the Peace Treaty between the Accompong Town Maroons and the British in 1738, noted that the treaty ended decades of hostilities, making the community a sovereign state with full freedom for its inhabitants, having complete jurisdiction over the territory, with the exception of the death penalty.
It makes one wonder how one small community was able to do it.
It makes one wonder why the entire island of Jamaica is unable to do it.
It makes one realize why a murder in Accompong makes just as big a news as 21 murders in Trelawney.