One of the most essential tasks of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Foreign Trade in Jamaica and of Jamaican Embassies and Consulates abroad is to protect the welfare of Jamaican citizens abroad, as well as other Jamaican interests such as companies. The Consular Section of the Jamaican Embassy in Brazil is required to carry out this mandate, within the limits of its authority and in accordance with international law. Jamaica and Brazil are signatories to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations of 1963 and are, therefore, bound by it. The representatives of the Embassy should be allowed to provide assistance to citizens of Jamaica in Brazil, but within the limits of the Convention.
We are aware that occasionally things happen that are beyond our control. We, however, expect Jamaican citizens in Brazil to make every effort to ensure that their stay in Brazil is pleasant, memorable and free of undesired incidents.We urge you to:
- Abide by the laws of Brazil and make every effort to behave responsibly
- Keep your documents secure at all times
- Make sensible arrangements when travelling such as travel insurance, proper accommodation, have adequate funds or a back-up source in case of emergency, et cetera
- Keep up-to-date with information about your immediate surroundings and take as much precaution for your property, personal well-being and security
Services to Jamaican Citizens (General)
We are committed to providing you with the following consular services in a prompt, effective and courteous manner, and at a high standard and to charge only the fees that we are required to do –
- In medical emergencies, we provide lists of local doctors and hospitals and assistance in arranging a medical evacuation (at your expense);
- Provide advice and support to you and your family in the case of an accident, serious illness or illness. We will also ensure nominated contacts are informed (if you give your consent);
- Assist if you are arrested in Brazil, by visiting or contacting you and by arranging for your family to be informed (if you give your consent). We will also seek to ensure that you are treated fairly under the laws of Brazil, and will provide you with a list of local lawyers;
- Assist in cases of missing persons by liasing with the local authorities and relatives;
- Facilitate the replacement of your passport if yours has been lost/stolen/damaged (relevant fees apply); However , nationals are strongly urged to secure their travel documents;
- Assist you to contact relatives or friends for help with money or airfare.
We cannot provide the following services –
- Extend your visa, grant a waiver or make any other change to your immigration status in Brazil – this is a private matter between you and the Brazilian immigration authorities;
- Replace lost airline tickets or immigration documents issued by a foreign government. It is your duty to keep these documents safe;
- Pay or guarantee payment of your hotel, airline, or other bills;
- Post bail for you, pay any legal expenses, intervene in court appearances or seek special treatment for you;
- Intervene in deportation matters. Jamaican citizens are subject to the laws of the countries to which they travel. However, once a Jamaican is arrested, we do everything in our power under the Vienna Convention to protect his or her rights and welfare;
- Investigate dead or missing persons’ cases. Reports of missing/deceased persons are investigated by the police. The Embassy can only make inquiries on behalf of families and obtain reports from the relevant authorities;
- Provide or pay for search and rescue services (although we can help you arrange these services);
- Provide or pay for medical services or medication;
- Provide translation, interpretation, telephone or Internet services, except in an emergency;
- Intervene in customs or quarantine requirements and regulations of Brazil;
- Provide physical protection or security;
- Accept responsibility for the custody or return of lost luggage/property;
- Report anyone to the Immigration or police authorities. In cases of criminal complaints, persons will be directed to the appropriate Police Post.
Assistance to Jamaican Citizens Arrested and/or Incarcerated in Brazil
Disclaimer: The following is a summary of services provided by Jamaican consular officers to Jamaican citizens arrested in Brazil. Since conditions vary by prison and State, the precise nature of services may likewise vary, depending on individual circumstances in a particular case.
Article 36(a) of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations (1963) provides that consular officers shall be free to communicate with their nationals and have access to them. Article 36(b) states that the foreign authorities shall inform the consular officer of the arrest of a national "without delay" (no specific time frame), if the national requests such notification.
Services include – Emergency support upon receiving first notification of arrest
- Visiting the detainee as soon as possible after their arrest;
- Providing a list of local attorneys to assist the detainee in obtaining legal representation;
- Providing information about local judicial procedures in Brazil;
- Notifying family and/or friends, if authorised by the prisoner;
- Communicating with family and friends for money or other aid, on behalf of the detainee
On-going support once convicted and sentenced to incarceration:
- Providing quarterly consular visits to prisoner and reporting on those visits to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Foreign Trade in Jamaica;
- Providing prisoner with vitamin supplements;
- Providing limited financial support to prisoner through the Embassy’s welfare budget , if prisoner if determined to be destitute;
- Arranging for examination by an independent physician, if needed;
- Arranging special family visits, subject to local law;
- Protesting mistreatment or abuse to the appropriate authorities;
- Attending the trial, if the Embassy believes that discrimination on the basis of Jamaican nationality might occur or if specifically requested by the prisoner or family, if possible;
- Providing information on pardon procedures for prisoner, if applicable
- Collaborating/liaising with Ministry of Justice authorities to ensure prisoner’s timely and safe return to Jamaica after completing sentence.
Discretionary support provided as needed:
- Providing reading materials subject to local laws and regulations;
- Arranging for the provision of holiday meals;
- Providing through the Embassy’s welfare budget, personal amenities such as stamps, toiletries, stationary from the prisoner's or family's private funds, if permitted by prison authorities;
- Assisting in finding ways to expedite the prisoner's mail;
- Enquiring about the possibility of prison employment;
- Assisting in arranging correspondence courses;
- Arranging for Jamaica’s Honorary Consul or Jamaican community volunteers to visit prisoner.
A Consular Officer cannot:
- Demand the immediate release of a Jamaican citizen arrested abroad or otherwise cause the citizen to be released;
- Represent a Jamaican citizen at trial, give legal advice or pay legal fees and/or fines with Jamaican Government funds.