Jamaican Authorities Accused Of Killing Bystanders While Attempting To Apprehend Christopher “Dudus” Coke

A police officer in Kingston, where the authorities have hunted for alleged drug lord Christopher "Dudus" Coke this week.
A police officer in Kingston, where the authorities have hunted for alleged drug lord Christopher "Dudus" Coke this week.
A police officer in Kingston, where the authorities have hunted for alleged drug lord Christopher "Dudus" Coke this week.
A police officer in Kingston, where the authorities have hunted for alleged drug lord Christopher "Dudus" Coke this week.

Today in Latin America

Top Story — With the death toll at 73 people, alleged Jamaican drug lord Christopher “Dudus” Coke has yet to be captured and some are accusing the police of using indiscriminate force, according to reports from The New York Times and The Guardian.

Both news sources published reports saying they had spoken with residents of Tivoli Gardens — the neighborhood where the violence has been taking place — who claimed that government forces had killed unarmed people and innocent civilians.

Amnesty International, a human rights organization, has called for a “thorough investigation” into the killings of civilians in Jamaica this week.

“The government is committed and insistent that the rights of citizens be respected,” Jamaican government spokesperson Daryl Vaz said on Thursday, according to The New York Times.

Coke was indicted several months ago in New York for gun and drug trafficking and his extradition was requested by the United States. After ignoring for the request for months, the Jamaican government abruptly changed course, approving the extradition request last week.

The violence began on Sunday, when the Jamaican government declared a month-long state of emergency in parts of the capital of Kingston after assailants shot at two police stations and torched a third with molotov cocktails. Police have attempted all week to apprehend Coke, to no avail. The government has issued a statement asking Coke to turn himself in, The New York Times reports.

More than 500 people have been arrested since Sunday, according to CNN.

Other top news: Colombia will hold presidential elections on Sunday. The close race is predicted to result in a second round contest between former defense minister Juan Manuel Santos and former mayor of Bogotá Antanas Mockus.

Just Published at the Latin America News Dispatch

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Image: bbcworldservice @ Flickr.

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