Return of the 'Black Heart Men' – Organ Harvesting in Jamaica

Other | Wednesday 22nd March 2017 | Tali

As described in the 1979 song ‘Black Heart Man’ by Jamaican reggae and dancehall artist Barrington Levy, it was widely circulated in Jamaica in the 70s that men were stealing hearts from young girls to use for witchcraft.

The lyrics say “People used to say, children, don't go astray, yes, yes black heart men will take you away.” This accurately depicted the myth of men kidnapping young girls and eating the hearts of their victims.

Today, the reports are far more harrowing, Jamaican girls and women are being murdered in order to have their organs harvested and sold to wealthy countries.  

The information has been broadcast via social media with a surge of YouTube videos from Jamaican natives, the most popular being a whistle blower from the medical industry, he discusses how the act of harvesting has grown due to the poor and desperate condition that most Jamaicans live in.

He goes on to say that organ harvesting is more popular among young girls as they are more vulnerable, their organs have a higher value and their incidents are easier to make look like abduction or rape cases.

Supposedly, companies are turning body parts into profit by selling vital and popular organs that are bought on the black market by patients who have the money to avoid remaining on long medical waiting lists.

The need for human organs is prevalent, in 2016, according to the American Transplant Foundation, 123,000 people in the United States were on the waiting list to receive an organ and every 12 minutes a new name is added to the list with an average of 21 people dying each day due to lack of organ availability.

In 2016, 121,333 people were awaiting organ transplants with the need for vital organs even being advertised on Craigslist. But is it all a conspiracy theory?

The Jamaican Observer claims that the organ harvesting accusations are potentially political sabotage and fear mongering that has been orchestrated to ignite fear and could be ruinous to Jamaica.

It has also been denied by National Security Minister, Robert Montague and Assistant Commissioner of corporate communications network, Ealan Powell who claims that rape incidents from years ago are somehow turning up on social media today, disguised as organ harvesting cases and that any investigations into the act have led nowhere.

Under the Cybercrimes Act, it is illegal to use a computer or similar devices to send another person any data that intends to cause distress or anxiety, and can come with a fine of up to $4 million, up to four years’ imprisonment or both.

Which is what happened to thirty-five-year-old Amieka Mullings who was arrested and charged under the Cybercrimes Act after she allegedly posted pictures on social media of a man she said was wanted for rape, assault and murder.

There’s no smoke without fire and although social media encourages people to jump on trends, the amount of accusations and sudden upsurge in abductions of Jamaican women and girls is hard to turn a blind eye to.