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Gunbattles intensifying, spreading in Jamaica

Posted by on May. 24, 2010 at 6:10 PM
  • 3 Replies

 

KINGSTON, Jamaica – Jamaica's security forces clashed with masked gunmen allied with an alleged drug kingpin for a second day Monday as an intensifying multi-front battle against gangs spread to volatile slums outside the capital.

The Jamaica Constabulary Force said two officers had been killed and six wounded since Sunday in firefights with drug gangs whose arsenals rival police firepower.

Police and soldiers came under heavy fire Monday in the West Kingston stronghold of Christopher "Dudus" Coke, who is trying to avoid extradition to the U.S. on drug and arms trafficking charges. Military helicopters with mounted guns buzzed above the impoverished area between plumes of black smoke.

West Kingston, which includes the Trenchtown slum where reggae superstar Bob Marley was raised, is the epicenter of the violence. But on Monday, security forces were also under attack in areas outside that patchwork of gritty slums in the capital on Jamaica's southeastern coast, far from the virtually crime-free tourist resorts on the north shore.

Gunmen shot at police while trying to erect barricades in a poor section of St. Catherine parish, which is just outside the two parishes where the government on Sunday implemented a monthlong state of emergency.

A police station in an outlying area of Kingston parish also was showered with bullets by a roving band of gunmen with high-powered rifles.

Security Minister Dwight Nelson said "police are on top of the situation," but gunfire was reported in several poor communities and brazen gunmen shot up Kingston's central police station. Loud explosions rang across West Kingston on Monday afternoon as police assaulted Coke's slum stronghold of Tivoli Gardens.

The drug trade is deeply entrenched in Jamaica, which is the largest producer of marijuana in the region and where gangs have become powerful organized crime networks involved in international gun smuggling. It fuels one of the world's highest murder rates; the island of 2.8 million people had about 1,660 homicides in 2009.

Police Commissioner Owen Ellington said "scores of criminals" from gangs across the Caribbean island had joined the fighting in the Kingston area, where the fear of gun violence has driven many to live behind gated walls with key-pad entry systems and 24-hour security.

In a sun-splashed island known more for reggae music and all-inclusive resorts, the violence erupted Sunday afternoon after nearly a week of rising tensions over the possible extradition of Coke to the United States, where he faces a possible sentence of life in prison.

Coke is described as one of the world's most dangerous drug lords by the U.S. Justice Department.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100524/ap_on_re_la_am_ca/cb_jamaica_slum_standoff/print

by on May. 24, 2010 at 6:10 PM
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mrs_khan07
by Silver Member on May. 24, 2010 at 7:14 PM

First of all, really? His last name is "Coke" and he's a druglord? That's ironic. Did he choose this career when he was a kid? "Well, my name is Coke, so..." 

Second, Jamaica is crazy. I don't think people are warned enough about this before they decide to vacation there. I'm not saying no one should go there, but there should be a warning label on the brochure or something. My old landlord went there with his wife and kids and they got mugged and his daughter was almost raped. I know another couple who went and came home in caskets. Of course, there are risks anywhere you go, but a better warning might be appropriate.

Mrs. Khan



tericared
by on May. 24, 2010 at 7:20 PM

 

Quoting mrs_khan07:

First of all, really? His last name is "Coke" and he's a druglord? That's ironic. Did he choose this career when he was a kid? "Well, my name is Coke, so..." 

Second, Jamaica is crazy. I don't think people are warned enough about this before they decide to vacation there. I'm not saying no one should go there, but there should be a warning label on the brochure or something. My old landlord went there with his wife and kids and they got mugged and his daughter was almost raped. I know another couple who went and came home in caskets. Of course, there are risks anywhere you go, but a better warning might be appropriate.

 People think ahhh Jamaica....It is a very unsafe place...

LauraKW
by "Dude!" on May. 24, 2010 at 7:22 PM


Quoting tericared:

 

Quoting mrs_khan07:

First of all, really? His last name is "Coke" and he's a druglord? That's ironic. Did he choose this career when he was a kid? "Well, my name is Coke, so..." 

Second, Jamaica is crazy. I don't think people are warned enough about this before they decide to vacation there. I'm not saying no one should go there, but there should be a warning label on the brochure or something. My old landlord went there with his wife and kids and they got mugged and his daughter was almost raped. I know another couple who went and came home in caskets. Of course, there are risks anywhere you go, but a better warning might be appropriate.

 People think ahhh Jamaica....It is a very unsafe place...

I'm one of those people.  I never knew.  Feeling naive.

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