Road barricades in
Jamaica, Latin America: Week in Review

Jamaica Declares State of Emergency in Kingston Due To Drug Violence

May 24, 2010 By Staff

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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[…] Friday, Jamaican officials declared a state of emergency throughout parts of Kingston due to the violence between Coke’s loyalists and law […]

[…] 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. […]

[…] 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 […]

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