Jamaican Police Attempt To Apprehend Christopher “Dudus” Coke in Kingston

Kingston harbor during police operation to capture Christopher "Dudus" Coke.
Kingston harbor during police operation to capture Christopher "Dudus" Coke.
Kingston harbor during police operation to capture Christopher "Dudus" Coke.
Kingston harbor during police operation to capture Christopher "Dudus" Coke.

Today in Latin America

Top Story — Police in Jamaica launched an assault on the neighborhood of alleged drug kingpin Christopher “Dudus” Coke Monday in an effort to apprehend him.

Jamaican security forces moved into Kingston’s Tivoli Gardens district amid heavy gunfire as Coke’s supporters fought to to stop his extradition to the U.S., where he is wanted on drug and gun running charges.

The unrest has already left two police officers dead and six more wounded. An unknown number of casualties have been reported throughout Kingston.

On Sunday, Jamaican officials declared a state of emergency throughout parts of Kingston due to the violence between Coke’s loyalists and law enforcement. The United States has been seeking Coke’s extradition for nine months, but until recently the Jamaican government has ignored the request.

Coke, who allegedly holds a heavy influence in West Kingston, has been compared to both Robin Hood and the last Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar. He controls his terriotry through a mix of violence, charity and corruption and the unrest in Kingston stems is between those who want him extradited and those who see him as a benefactor and philanthropist.

“He lives in a poor area, and because of his sale of cocaine, he basically plays the Robin Hood role,” said Jamaican-born attorney David Rowe, a University of Miami adjunct professor, according to CNN. “They don’t know, if he’s extradited, who will be there for them. There are mothers wondering, ‘Who’s going to buy my child lunch?’ or ‘If I get sick, who’s going to pay my hospital bills?’ ”

Just Published at the Latin America News Dispatch

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This post has been corrected. An earlier version erroniously stated that the state of emergency was declared on Friday; it was declared on Sunday.

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