Death toll mounts in Jamaica

| 25/05/2010

(CNS): The man at the centre of the current violence in Jamaica remains at large as the killings mount in the West Kingston area. Official police reports state that some 40 civilians, two police officers and one soldier have been killed during the outbreak of violence. Many more have also been injured as the hunt for Tivoli Gardens’ strongman, Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke, continues. On Tuesday National Security Minister Dwight Nelson confirmed that Coke had not yet been found, despite the three day security operation. Coke who has close connections to Jamaica’s ruling Labour Party is wanted by United States authorities on firearms and drug trafficking charges.

The Jamaican Observer reports that gunmen have carried out a string of attacks in sections of St Catherine. Three men were killed in the McCooks Pen community and one person was killed in Waterford. There were also reports of a shoot-out between gunmen and police in the March Pen Road area of Spanish Town. The incidents are the latest in a string of murders and fire-bombings which are being carried out in St Catherine. Murders have also been reported in Braeton, Waterford, and Newlands in Portmorem the newspaper reports in its online edition.
During the third consecutive day of unrest, thousands of heavily-armed police and soldiers continued their assault into the violent areas, battling masked gunmen loyal to Coke, where so far some 18 police stations have been attacked.
The BBC reports gangs from slums just outside the capital have also joined the fight, erecting barricades on roadways and shooting at troops. A total of 211 people have now been detained as soldiers go from house to house looking for Coke.
The Jamaican Ministry of Health is appealing for members of the public to donate blood as a result of the escalating violence. “The blood bank is always in need of blood but we are experiencing a higher demand based on the current violent attacks in parts of the island and the increase in the number of injured patients being seen at our health facilities,” said Chief Medical Officer Dr Sheila Campbell Forrester. “We are therefore appealing to individuals to go to any of our blood collection centres across the island to donate.”
The United States requested Coke’s extradition in August last year but Jamaica initially refused, alleging that evidence against him had been gathered through illegal wiretaps. An arrest warrant to begin extradition proceedings against Coke was finally issued last week. In its annual narcotics control strategy report in March, the State Department said Coke’s well-known ties to Jamaica’s ruling party highlighted "the potential depth of corruption in the government".
Britain, the US and a number of other countries have issued travel alerts. US citizens living and residing in Jamaica or the Cayman Islands were today advised to register their presence in the country through the US Department of State’s automated online registration system https://travelregistration.state.gov.
Meanwhile, here in the Cayman Islands the Governor’s Office has recommended that people considering travel to Jamaica consult the latest advice issued by their home countries. “As a British Overseas Territory, the Cayman Islands will follow the travel advice issued by the UK Government, which is updated on a regular basis and can be found on www.ukinjamaica.fco.gov.uk,” the office said in a statement. “Non-British expatriates living in the Cayman Islands may also wish to consult their respective government’s websites for advice regarding travel to Jamaica.”
Britain "strongly advised" its nationals to avoid all "non-essential travel" to the Kingston area, and Australia urged its visitors to show a "high degree of caution".
Air Jamaica has cancelled a number of flights and Cayman Airways has also made a number of changes to its scheduled flights to Kingston and Montego Bay.
All passengers are advised to contact their airline for further details.
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Comments (20)

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  1. "Green Idea" says:

    So unfortunate that so many young men lost their lives to the "Dudus" cause.  What are the possibilities of some of these same weapons being traded right here on our shores. 

    Wonder if the youth of our Islands are taking note, and realising than when the heat comes about the "big man" will be no where to defend them. They’ll be on their own.  Wise up young people!!

  2. jasonslyric says:

    I’m curious as to whether Bruce Golding and Company really think they’re fooling anyone?

    As expected, Mr. Coke still remains at large and I wonder if he’s still in Jamaica in the first place.

    The US government should track all private planes that have left the island within the last 5 days.

    http://jasonslyric.wordpress.com/2010/05/27/what-would-reneto-adams-do/

  3. livingcayman says:

    What would Cuba do?

    My fellow Jamaicans all I can say what would Cuba do, Cuba has the lowest crime rate Caribbean how would they handle this situation who would they go about to prevent this situation in the future, how woudl they reduce crime and violence.

    What would Cuba do?

    • Jenna Jameson says:

      Dear livingcayman,

       

      Please Google Fidel Castro and his communist regime. Maybe then you will understand why there is no crime in Cuba. Fidel will put your happy ass in jail for telling him that he’s having a bad hair day.

      I think we need to bring Fidel and Raul over to run the prisons over here. Maybe then all of the criminals won’t be so eager to go back.

      • livingcayman says:

        Dear Jenna Jameson,

        I have visited Cuba many times and know too well of Raul and Castro, however it goes a little deeper tham just putting one in Jail in Cuba.

        In Cuba they keep their people in check buy have the Police constantly harrassing them, you can be driving along with you family they stopping the car and searching everyone, you hanging too long in one area they coming over to check and search you.

        Living in a communist regime is one thing, But the Castro’s (not supporting the communism) take care of their people, whether or not it so there likes. 

        When last did you hear about a Civil Unrest in Cuba.

        I am not saying that Jamaican shoudl be run like a communist State but they should, do more in ways of Policing their people, not everyone is bad in Jamaica but the god will have to suffer for the bad until things are in check the bad men/Gun Men are reduce or no longer exist.

        We can definately sign a deal with Cuba to send our hard criminals there for fee of course for their sentences.

        • Jenna Jameson says:

          Dear livingcayman,

          Prepareyourself for an education.

          Firstly, Cuba is notorious for its complete and utter disregard of Human Rights and Civil Liberties. 

          Please see "Cuba’s Repressive Machinery" from the Human Rights Watch Organization. http://www.hrw.org/en/reports/1999/06/01/cubas-repressive-machinery

          Secondly, all Cuban people would agree that the Castros take care of them. To say anything otherwise would lead to imprisonment. Please refer to the above report. 

          Thirdly, Jamaica’s problems are complex and difficult to say the least. 

          Granted, I am by no means an expert on the history and politics of Jamaica and I am unsure of the detailed happenings the majority of the time, but I think they are trying pretty damn hard right now. I have seen nothing but armed soldiers and police officers in the press right now.

          And please do not assume that I said that all people in Jamaica are terrible people. That would be like me assuming that all people that cannot spell are idiots. (And I would never do that.)

          Lastly, I was joking when I said that the Castros should run our prisons. Mostly. I do think that Northward and Fairbanks should be run a lot less Ritz Carlton and little more San Quentin.

          Please remember though, there are better ways to make a difference in all the places we care about then commenting anonymously on Cayman News Service.

          I try to make a difference in the real world. How about you?

          Sincerely,

          Jenna Jameson

           

           
        • livingcayman:

          "Police constantly harrassing" the people?  Sir or Madam, that would mean a government that has become oppressive.

          I think the people should be left alone. The more laws you enforce in an economic distabled country, is the more pressure and tension you put on the people’s livelihood. 

          Do you seriously think that using force against criminals, such as Dudus and his posse will solve Jamaica’s problems? Do you think that a police force always inspecting and harrassing the people will do Justice? Who will check the Police? Who will see that there is no corruption in the Police and that they are not using their force illegally? Who will always measure what is Police discretion and what isn’t?  All of these questions are important. 

          Then you may refute me by saying, "how will we curb crime if we don’t inspect and make police checks?"

          In a country that is economically distable it is not all that simple. You have to deal with the people’s needs before you can go out there and tell everyone what they must do and what they can’t. First, they will not listen to you, if you say "don’t steal" and then you have no food to give them! What do you expect? They will continue stealing and look for someone else who will support them.

          Before you can curb crime in any broken society, you have to focus on education and providing for the people’s needs. If you try to enforce laws upon them, you just make matters worse for yourself and everyone.

          Peace

      • pauly cicero says:

        Can I have your autograph?

  4. Anonymous says:

    I hope people here remember this the next time someone mentions independence for Cayman.

    • Mat says:

      Oh please

      Although I wouldn’t recommend Cayman going Independent, let us not forget the real cause of crime:

      "Unchecked Human Nature"

      Independence (a mere governmental-change) has nothing to do with crime!There are alot of countries Independent and crime is at a low in these countries. Cayman is not Independent from the UK and yet it looks like crime is increasing here.

      Please don’t forget ego, self-centeredness, and human nature: If the people are selfish, no matter if politician or poor peasant, they will steal, embezzle, harm others to get their way, break the law, decieve people, hurt the environment because they are thinking about themselves and have forgotten that they are a part of the one world.

      The world can only be saved by a message of deliverance where each and every individual will have to choose to change their view of life and lifestyle for the betterment of all.

      It is still mindboggling how people rely on government to change people! Government means force through law, and no law has been able to change people inside-out.

       

  5. kevin says:

    Okay… a corrupt government against a corrupt entity, and people are caught between them both!

    1. From here in out, it is not going to look pretty.

    2. The United States in the name of Justice will not accomplish anything from this unrest, because the drug trade will still go on and Coke will still have a successor if he is caught; and,

    3. I think the most hurtful part – What will Jamaica get out of all of this bloodshed and disruption?!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Big fool. It is NOT owned by him. It simply takes place in the area he "controls". And the dances here, no matter the name, rarely have real links to their overseas counterparts.

    People simply copy what is popular. It’s not only the various DVD stores which engage in copyright infringement.

    • Anonymous says:

      Cant you disagree with the writer without calling them a big fool.  You must be a very angry person.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Today I asked a lady where she was from. She said she was born in Jamaica, but moved here as a child. I then asked her what she thought of what was going on in Jamaica.  Her reply was "They are all ignorant and deserve what they get."

    I was quite offended by this response as it highlighted the lady’s ignorance on many levels:

    1) There are many good, innocent people born into the garrisons, no fault of their own, and now living in poverty and fear.

    2) What is happening in Jamaica today is a culmination of 40 years of political corruption. The corruption started at the top, not by ignorant people but by highly educated politicians from Harvard and London School of Economics. These politicians armed and trained men to get voters. In turn, the politicians protected theses thugs, no matter where or what crime they committed, or law they broke. You see, the goal was personal power, enrichment and fame, but never the betterment of the country.  

    3) Jamaican parties have devoted followers who vote based on party colors / districts but rarely the issues.

    4) The protection Dudus gets is different only in degree to the silence our people use to protect our local criminals / dons.

    Ideally, I would have hoped that the lady I spoke to is intelligent enough to see the similaritiesbetween her birth and adopted countries. After all, she likely has a vote here. But those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it. We maybe far behind, but we must be careful of the paths we take. And, as Christian people we must prey for our neighbors, especially during these trying times.

     

     

    • TennisAce says:

       You have hit the nail right on the head.  Those who do not know the history of Jamaica can always sit back and condemn what is happening in Tivoli Gardens and ascribe blame and say that they deserve it. Only those of us who have studied the history of this country or who have lived it know the true situation.  There is no doubt that Dudus is a criminal.  So was Sir Henry Morgan who was a known criminal but was knighted by the King of England.   The person who is a criminal to some is seen as a benefactor to others. Politicians have used young and mindless people to believe in their words and believe that they can offer them a way out.  Dudus offered the people of West Kingston a different way of life and they took it.  Unlike the politicians he delivered on his promises.  Was he wrong to do what he is alleged to have done.  Yes.  Just as how he used alleged criminality to better the lives of the people in West Kingston he could have used legitimate means to get the same result. 

       

      The rich folks in Jamaica pay politicians big money to maintain the status quo.  They enact laws and change the rules when it suits them to keep poor people down trodden and oppressed.  This will never change.  What the security forces are now doing to West Kingston is similar to what has been done by the British forces in Ireland for years and by the British to the Americans before they got independence.  Oppressors are all over and when what is happening in Jamaica is all said and done then it will be a time for rebuilding.  I am hoping that during this rebuilding process a lot of the current group of politicians will see it fit to not let the door hit them on the way out.   

    • Anonymous says:

      ………..and to think that Cayman stands at the very beginning of the same situation. What a shame! Unfortunately, very few people realize this, and a lot of those people here who are calling the people are fools, are the same ones who vote based on party colours and look forward to the hand outs which come around every 4 years!

  8. big whopper says:

    Can anyone tell me why the Popular street dance "Passa Passa" which is owned by this thug is allowed to be held in Cayman on a regular basis?

    • Anonymous says:

      The dance is allowed to happen like every other ignorant things happening here. Look at the political rubbish with the colours and cow bell etc that we are copy catting here! What is npw happening in the beautiful country Jamaica is an example of what will happen to us, if we don’t wake up and learn some lessons quickly.

      • Isabella says:

        True what you said, beause it seems like the peple of Cayman dont have a mind of their own.   All they can do is follow other people,s fashion.  They need to stick to what they knew and stop adopting the culture and colors of other nations.  

        Some of them are no better than the people of Tivoli Gardens the way they rally behind PPM and UDP  for colours an personal gains, money, jobs, money for children and self etc..  Think about. 

        The Only difference is Cayman people enjoy two Dons of their Tivoli Gardens.  They have PPM Don and UDP  Don.  So they need to be mindful of their comments about Jamaica.

        • Anon says:

          Isabella, how do you know that it’s a Caymanian making the comments that offend you!? This is a public forum you know!! The same way you are making an assumption about Caymanians posting negative stuff about Jamaica is the same way people are making assumptions about Jamaica and posting negative comments about things they probably don’t have very much knowledge of.