Skip to comments.Jamaicans battle over alleged drug lord
Posted on 05/23/2010 4:04:51 PM PDT by Ready4Freddy
KINGSTON, Jamaica - Jamaica's government declared a state of emergency in parts of its capital city Kingston Sunday after shooting and firebomb attacks on police stations by supporters of an alleged drug lord who faces extradition to the United States.
The emergency covered the West Kingston and St. Andrews districts of the capital where gunmen fired on two police stations and set fire to another.
At least one policeman was injured.
Kingston police on Sunday urged Christopher "Dudus" Coke, who the government is seeking under a U.S. extradition request, even as tension grew behind barricades erected by his supporters to protect him.
The U.S., Canada and Britain have issued travel alerts, warning of possible violence and unrest, and most Jamaicans are steering clear of downtown Kingston entirely.
Apartment slum now a fortress
In a gritty section of the capital, defiant followers of Christopher "Dudus" Coke, a Jamaican "don" who is widely suspected of controlling gunmen in West Kingston's Tivoli Gardens, have transformed the slum into a virtual fortress cut off by trashed cars and barbed wire.
People in the community quickly started preparing for war.
Police say Tivoli Gardens residents have stockpiled powerful weapons, including a .50-caliber sniper rifle with armor-piercing bullets. Others allegedly have stolen law-abiding residents' cell phones to prevent them from alerting authorities to Coke's movements.
So far, violence around the barricaded slum has been sporadic. On Wednesday, an armored vehicle was sprayed by gunfire shortly after forcing a trashed car from an intersection. No security forces were hit, but the Jamaica Defense Force quickly called up the army reserves.
A sign affixed to a scruffy dog's back read: "Jesus died for us, we will die for Dudus."
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Yeah, I want to vaycay in Jamaica...
Go to western Jamiaca not eastern.
This is in the city - where the real Jamaica is. If you go to the vacation parts it is heavily policed and beautiful.
I had a good time there a few weeks ago.
Where did you go and stay?
I only stayed the day, in Ocho Rios. Was on a cruise.
Ah. I have known a few folks who spent many days there. One friend of mine spent his honeymoon there and vowed never to return to Jamaica.
I spent a week there in the mid-90's and enjoyed it, but stayed on the resport compound all but one day (went horseback riding).
Best move to make - stay on the resort compound.