Today in Latin America
Commissioner of Police Owen Ellington said in a press conference on Tuesday that Coke is in a secure facility and the Jamaican government hoped to begin legal proceedings against him within the next two days.
The details of Coke’s arrest remain sketchy, but he appears to have been stopped just outside Kingston at a police checkpoint. Coke was accompanied by Reverend Al Miller at the time of his arrest, but Miller was released.
ABC News reports that Jamaican authorities are ready to extradite him to the U.S. so that he can face trial in New York, where he has been indicted for charges including drug and arms trafficking.
The arrest follows an episode of violence last month that began after the Jamaican government signed an extradition request for Coke from the United States on May 18. Suspected drug gang members attacked three police stations, setting one of them ablaze with molotov cocktails, prompting the government to declare a month-long state of emergency.
Jamaican authorities then entered the neighborhood of Tivoli Gardens in Kingston in order to arrest Coke, and encountered resistance. More than 70 people died in the ensuing conflict, prompting allegations from residents and human rights groups that the police had used force indiscriminately.
The Jamaican government had offered a $5 million reward for Coke’s arrest, according to The Jamaica Observer.
Just Published at the Latin America News Dispatch
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Headlines from the Western Hemisphere
- In an editorial, Mexico’s Roman Catholic Church said that drug cartels now control parts of some cities and could influence this year’s state elections.
- Mexico lost to Uruguay, 1-0, in the team’s final game in World Cup group play, but will advance to the second round where the team will face Group B winner, Argentina.
- Cuban political dissident Darsy Ferrer was found guilty of purchasing black market building materials and released on time served on Tuesday.
- The Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-MA) called upon Haitian President René Préval to show greater leadership and international donors to coordinate better in in a report released on Tuesday.
- The United States renewed military aid to Honduras by donating 25 heavy trucks to the country, in a move seen as a major step in normalizing relations following the suspension of diplomatic ties after last year’s coup.
- Police in El Salvador arrested seven suspected gang member in connection with an attack on two passenger buses that left at least 16 people dead.
- Panamanian authorities opened at least two investigations into drug-related money laundering in the national financial system.
- Colombian President-elect Juan Manuel Santos named economist and former Cabinet member Juan Carlos Echeverry as the country’s new finance minister.
- Venezuelan basketball player Greivis Vásquez, who played for the University of Maryland, entered the 2010 NBA draft.
- Indigenous groups in Ecuador will demonstrate to have the government respect their territories and force President Rafael Correa’s government to to reform mining laws.
- The Brazilian government pledged $100 million in aid to those affected by floods in the northeastern states of Alagoas and Pernambuco, which have left more than 40 dead and more than 100,000 homeless.
- Journalists may be targets of the left-wing guerrilla group known as the Paraguayan People’s Army (EPP, in Spanish), according to documents obtained by Paraguay’s police after a confrontation last week.
- Argentina beat Greece 2-0, topping Group B and prompting coach Diego Maradona to demand that the team’s critics apologize.
Image: BBC World Service @ Flickr.