Jamaica Declares State of Emergency in Kingston Due To Drug Violence

Road barricades in
Road barricades in

Road barricades in
Road barricades outside Tivoli Gardens in Kingston, Jamaica.

Today in Latin America

Top Story –Jamaica announced a state of emergency on Sunday in areas of Kingston, after suspected drug gang members shot at two police stations and set a third on fire with molotov cocktails. One policeman was wounded during the attacks, Reuters reports.

The alleged gang members were suspected supporters of Christopher “Dudus” Coke. The U.S. government has requested that Jamaica extradite Coke under charges of drug and arms trafficking, according to The Associated Press.

The Jamaican government ignored a U.S. extradition request for Coke for nine months, straining diplomatic relations, but Jamaica’s attorney general signed the request last week.

Coke is suspected to lead the Shower Posse drug gang, notorious for committing hundreds of murders in the 1980s. Coke has ties to Jamaica’s governing Labor Party, according to the AP.

Both of Jamaica’s major political parties have historic ties to drug gangs, according to The New York Times.

The U.S. State Department issued a travel alert on Friday, warning of the possibility of violence if police clashed with criminal gangs.

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