Golding declares emergency

| 23/05/2010

(CNS): Following attacks on three police stations and continued unrest in the country’s capital, Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding declared a state of emergency in parts of Kingston on Sunday afternoon. Masked men torched a police station and traded gunfire with security forces in a barricaded area of West Kingston and St Andrew’s — areas known as the stronghold of Christopher "Dudus" Coke, the man whom Golding has now agreed to extradite to the United States. The BBC’s Nick Davis has reported that troops and police have come under fire and smoke is rising from the burning police station.

The US Justice Department claims Coke is one of the world’s most dangerous drug barons. He is accused of leading a gang called the Shower Posse and operating an international smuggling network. The gang has also been blamed for numerous murders in Jamaica and the US. Coke is said to have strong ties to the ruling Jamaica Labour Party and holds significant sway over the West Kingston area represented in Parliament by Golding, who stalled Coke’s extradition request for months with claims that the US indictment relied on illegal wiretap evidence.

Coke is widely suspected of controlling gunmen in the Tivoli Gardens neighbourhood, which has now been transformed into a virtual fortress, cut off by trashed cars, barbed wire and other home made barricade material, according to various media reports from Kingston. In Hannah Town, close to Tivoli Gardens, a police station was set aflame by Molotov cocktails on Sunday afternoon.
The violence erupted following a week of ever-higher tensions in the capital over the decision by Golding to finally agree to Coke’s extradition. On Sunday morning, police urged the neighbourhood boss to surrender, calling the heavy barricades encircling his slum stronghold a sign of "cowardice". Although Coke has not yet been found, his lawyers are challenging the extradition in Jamaica’s Supreme Court. Coke, himself, who typically avoids the limelight, has remained silent. He faces life in prison if convicted on charges filed against him in New York.
Golding’s fight against the extradition strained relations with Washington, which questioned the Caribbean country’s reliability as an ally in the fight against drugs. His handling of the matter, particularly his hiring of a US firm to lobby Washington to drop the extradition request, provoked an outcry that threatened his political career.
The US, Canada and Britain have all now issued travel alerts, warning of possible violence and unrest in Jamaica. Most islanders have been steering clear of downtown Kingston entirely. The state of public emergency, limited to the parishes of Kingston and St. Andrew, will be in effect for one month unless extended or revokedby lawmakers, the government said.
Reverend Renard White, a leader of a Justice Ministry peace initiative that works in Jamaica’s troubled communities, said Coke is a strongman who wields "enormous power" and whose followers are ready for violence if they think it is in his best interest.
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Category: Headline News

Comments (59)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. whodatis says:

    One more point…

    A lot of these issues could be greatly improved upon if we all adjusted our attitudes in regards to "ganja".

    For example, I have lost many loved ones due to over-consumption of alcohol – a legally traded commodity … however, I have not lost a single soul due to a 3rd party’s consumption of marijuana.

    Research the death and injury statistics attributed to alcohol use versus marijuana usage – the results may amaze you.

    Furthermore, like the famed Katt Williams once said:

    "Weed is illegal, but if you take 13 aspirins that will be your last headache!"

    Something the fearless amongst us may want to think about.

    (I do understand that the matter at hand extends beyond the issue of marijuana – relax.)

    • Anonymous says:

      Ganga eventually kills you too – just like the cigarettes – just takes longer.

      • whodatis says:

        What today, pray tell, doesn’t kill you?

        We can’t even eat eggs anymore.

        Regardless, if one decides to smoke himself away to the Milky Way – it is his choice! How many hundreds of millions of alcoholics are living in this world today? Shoot…you probably vote for a few of them every 4 years.

        No one can refute the fact that legal alcohol inflicts far greater harm onto society than illegal marijuana. (This is of course ignoring the crime, guns, murders etc. that surround the trade, which ironically, is directly brought about by its standing status of "illegal substance".

      • Anonymous says:

        So shouldn’t cigarettes be illegal instead of ganja.

        Think before you post.

      • Anonymous says:

        Living also kills you in the end, I’ve yet to meet a human who will never die.

    • Anonymous says:

      That’s what a lot are wanting now. I have seen first hand the destruction of ganja in the lives of some of my loved ones. Any medicine should be taken when sick!!!!!

      legalize it and get us all seeing trees walking out in the road at us and what do you think has our young people sooooo LAZY????? smoking ganja.

      I agree and would support any legislation against alcohol because it is destructive – to death – "wine is a mocker and strong drink is raging and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise"

      However, just because we have a roaches it means we have to settle for rats too.

  2. whodatis says:

    RE: Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 05/24/2010 – 10:42.

    "you can only play the blame game for so long before your argument (colonialism; IMF; slavery; etc.) grows stale.  like africa, where unchecked greed, corruption, and politics are responsible for all the failed states,  jamaica too is responsible for its myriad of problems."

    Amazing that so many today still fail to properly understand the realities of our privileged existence.

    Do you (and your supporters) not understand that the lifestyle and comforts of the Western world are DIRECTLY DEPENDENT on the "unchecked greed, corruption, and politics" of Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and the rest of the world.

    From your daily Starbucks coffee to the raw materials in your child’s Ipod – every thing that enriches our lives are influenced by the negative forces that are in fact supported, hosted and promoted in the "developing world".

    Do you know what is the biggest issue that is currently holding back the continent of Africa? It is not corruption, but rather TRADE MIS-PRICING! (I trust that you can appreciate the significance of this fact without further elaboration – I have not the time.)

    Today corruption only accounts for 3-5% of the economic woes within the continent of Africa. The West is actively participating and encouraging the ongoing demise of the 3rd world by their criminal business practices yet have no reservations in turning around and demanding for them to "get their act together!"

    (As I was just remarking to my Togolese friend the other day: Signs of Africa finally getting its act together will be when they are engaged in a bitter trade embargo battle and or a major war with one of the powerful western nations. For the West is clearly having its way with Africa for decades and centuries now and they are managing to do so with little to no (direct) bloodshed.)

    This is the hypocrisy that plagues the mindset of westerners and quite sadly the vast majority of them do not even see it – yourself included apparently.

    The ongoing economic prowess and success of the western world is directly dependent on the mismanagement of the overall state of affairs in the developing world. Hopefully more of us will realize this crucial point from this point onward.

    Anyway, back to the issue at hand. I noticed that you conveniently opted to completely ignore the florescent pink elephant in the room in regard to the matter in question – Western demand and thirst for "illegal substances". To engage in this debate without doing so is absolutely pointless.

    Of course Jamaica is primarily responsible for its problems, however, one cannot ignore the external elements that are clearly playing pivotal roles in this dilemma.

    We all need to take our heads out of the clouds and see this world for what it really is. Things do not happen just by chance. Particular nations, regions or races of people are not randomly or inherently "bad".

    Take the Cayman Islands vs. Jamaica for a quick and obvious example. These are essentially the same people from the same historical background, yet as respective collectives they possess very contrasting reputations. Perhaps we ought to examine the reasons why?

  3. Anonymous says:

    The sad fact is that the Garrison of Tivoli Gardens was started and used to maintain a very well known ex-jamaican Prime Minister who now uses Cayman as refuge after turning his garrison over to the present Prime Minister.

    I leave you to figure out who his local companero is.

    Yes. thats right. Who else?????????????

  4. Anonymous says:

    If people do not understand what is happening in Jamaica they wil continue to make derogatory comments like the ones on here. The politicians are to be balme for what is happenning, it didn’t start over night it is years in the making. Both political parties are culprit of breading garrisons and contributing to the donman mentality as this is the only way they will be in power. All this on Bruce Golding is still in powere refusing to step aside but then again who is there that can make a difference even if they want to. Jamaica land we love will soon be no more, such a pity

    • Anonymous says:

      A drastic solution ‘ Get US Marines to neutralise Tivoli Gardens and arrest Dudus. Get his two sons too because its a dynasty rule. Even if Dudus is arrested or killed the two sons will succeed him and continue his reign of terror.Politicians on both sides are too inept to deal with the situation.

  5. Anonymous says:

    CNN says that the unrest is spreading outside of Kingston. The News Agency states: "outside the capital to Spanish Town, where armed thugs blocked a major road and a bridge that serves as a link between Montego Bay and Kingston."

     

     

  6. Anonymous says:

    A sign of things to come in Cayman…gang violence at an elevated level. Sad!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Fingerprints fingerprints fingerprints.  All work permit holders should be fingerprinted alongwith their picture, that should be a requirement!  Data data data, we need a proper database system with full information on persons coming in to the islands. Communication, we need customs, immigration and RCIP talking to each other, sharing data and working to keep criminals out of Cayman.  Every day people get fake police records etc.

    • not a born fool says:

             And what about all the Caymanian criminals?  Can we send them off island or are they exempt?

  8. Worried Caymanian says:

    Whilst the response to the plight of our neighbours range from absolute smugness to genuine concern we should take keen note to the underlying issue which is unfortunately running very strongly in our country.

    The mentality of entitlement thus dependence on handouts and the lack of independent thought found strongly in our party supporters is a very worrying trend. The absence of morals,strength and pride to stand up for what is right is choking us to death. For us to have a murder in a packed night club and have a stabbing within a mob of people and have to struggle for witnesses points to a very distressing trend that the lawless are more powerful than the lawful.

    For the Prime Minister of a country to be aligned with the likes of Dudus, and for a cross section of people who are willing to lay down their life for a common criminal is distressing on so many levels. We need to pay attention and heed the warning very strongly.

    We need to get away from the voting straight, letting politicians use you as fools for a few dollars,meal or whatever and the die hard loyalty without thought for the FACTS. We need to hold our politicians accountable and stop agreeing with everything they do or disagreeing with everything they do simply because of party affiliation. Independent thinkers are strongly encouraged.

    For those of us who are smugly looking down our noses at our neighbours, please remember people in glass houses should not throw stones as I fear the greed and love of party over love of country politics is crippling us day by day and heading us in the same direction.

  9. Mousey says:

    What you need to find out who is in charge of border security and find out if they even have a policy or a strategy. If what i see going on in Cayman and the amount of things we see happening is any testimony of the ability of these individuals No wonder we in so much trouble. XXXX

  10. Anonymous says:

    in response to WHODATIS on Mon, 05/24/2010 – 03:27.

    you can only play the blame game for so long before your argument (colonialism; IMF; slavery; etc.) grows stale.  like africa, where unchecked greed, corruption, and politics are responsible for all the failed states,  jamaica too is responsible for its myriad of problems.  there is a vast contrast in what jamaica has to offer to the rest of world; the very best of the best and the very worst of the worst.  one cannot take credit for the best but somehow deflect blame on someone else for the worst…

  11. Anonymous says:

    Its very sad to see whats taken place in Jamaica but we as a country need to take action right away we need to stop with this negative attitdue that its not going to happen to us becasue it is and we still have time to take action to prevent it from happening. As for Mr. Bush i know that you have close ties or so you claim  with jamaica and you are always preaching this but  this is not the time for all this blah blah crap that you be preaching about make Immigration  put in place if you are not caymanian or a work permit holder over there . Thye shouldnt  be allowed to come to this Island  on till this state of emergency is over and i mean over .

    • Anonymous says:

      Absoutely agree with your comments.  Now let us sit back and watch what Immigration will do.  They will let them in to clean their homes and yards for free.  They dont have to have adime, no where to stay or a work permit.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Look who’s talking? Caymanians who had one of theirs in States wreaking havoc and eventually returned home and infiltrated their immigration system. Pick the beam out of your eyes before you try to remove the log out of your brothers.

  13. Anonymous says:

    It is very smart of our government to require visas from Jamaicans – now  the information on those visas needs to be reviewed and verified before we get these gang leaders coming here.

    • inside job says:

      i dont know if is naieve or sad to think that somebody out there actually thinks they arent here already. these guys have direct ties to everything including our politicians already.

       

  14. Anonymous says:

    CI Govt. should issue a travel advisory as we have a lot of people going there for visas.

  15. Anonymous says:

    This reminds me of Pablo Esbobar in Columbia….wanted in the states for criminal activities – violence and drugs – but loved and feared by the people for doing much for them and their communities.  I don’t really have a point with this – just interested by the parallels.

  16. Oliver says:

    This is most unfortunate, we must pray for all our Brothers and Sisters in Kingston. It is always easey to sit back and point fingers, but realize this… there are alot of families suffering while this is going on.

    I have heard of this man before this strated to make headlines. Not all Jamacians are bad just like not all Caymanians there are good and bad in this world and no country is is exempted from this. Cayman Is part of the Caribbean Community and must  share in concerns when things like this happens as many Caymanians have extended family members in Jamaica.

    My Prayers go out to all Jamaicans at this very dificult time.

     

  17. Anonymous says:

    Is cayman truly surprised? The person claiming this man to ba a "godfather" to his people is not set in reality. You cannot with one hand be kind and with the other be a cold blooded murderer. Cayman needs to be wary, this violence will come to our shores it is only a matter of time. We have let too many bring their violence with them to cayman. Our streets are becoming a battle ground for someone elses battles.

  18. sandra says:

    Take a look at BBC – Bruce address to the nation and the burning of a Police station captured on video.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8699834.stm

     

    • Anonymous says:

      Citizens of murder capital walking around with cayman passport. You are very tunnel vision. It seems that you do notengage your brain before you come on cns. Are you implying that every person of jamaica or jamaican parentage are possible criminal in cayman? Its like saying "all jamaican are criminal, therefore you are of jamaican citizen or parentage are criminal". There are(and i know you know this ) many upright and hardworking jamaicans here who have no criminal propensities, second and third generations of jamaican with citizenship who do not get involved in ant-isocial activities. Many caymanians have married to jamaicans and raise childrens who do us proud in academics , sports, and other wholesome activities with friends and school mates from cayman who do not intend to go anywhere but cayman.Dont use your comments about crimes in jamaica to attack honest law-abiding citizens

    • Anonymous says:

      Dont they have any shame whatsoever?

    • Anonymous says:

      Wow… if you ever read the BBC, it just shows you how the press can ruin your reputation for life. Look at what the said about the Prime Minister, Bruce Golding. Look at what they are saying about Jamaica that the unrest could spread throughout the country. I mean it just shows you, we have to be careful of international news. I am sure alot of tourists will think twice now before traveling to Jamaica thanks to the wrong government decisions and the media. So sad for our neighbors – let us not judge! We could fall in the same category one day

  19. Anonymous says:

    i hope the government invest in a airport finger printing system to keep criminals out of this island…especially after this… we have a lot to deal with and don’t need anymore… the day they get that they will find out how much of the status holders are criminals but didn’t bother to check before they were feeling so genorous.. can you imagine citzens from the highest murder capital in the world is walking around here with cayman passports they made it bad for their own country wait and watch what they going to do to us!!!

    UDP and JLP share the same colours…and a particular nationality had sooo much to say in our past election… what a mess Cayman has come to

    • Anonymous says:

      I am truly ashamed of both UDP and PPM using these colours of identity.  It only goes to show what power and money have done to McKeva Bush and Kirk Tibbets.and all of their stupid followers who wear these colors ad signs without  having the sence to realize what tey stand for.

      Can we honestly say there is a hope.   Not if immigration has to find it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh Lord, here we go again!

      Please dont make this into an Immigration issue, because government for now is not going to be spending a dime on Immigration. Remember the Private Sector is complaining that government is too fat and need to trim

  20. whodatis says:

    Jamaica, Jamaica!

    Before too many of us jump on that high horse yet again – please let us keep things in perspective.

    Jamaica currently has major economic situations to sort out. From a weak dollar, to its tremendous deficit and of course the exploitative and predatory tactics of entities such as the IMF and World Bank – its people are being squeezed more and more with the passage of time.

    However, as is true everywhere else, when a "Robin Hood" emerges out of the darkness and provides for his community, in ways that their elected government and representatives have and or will not, said individual gains godfather-like status, respect and loyalty from his "people".

    This is simply human nature.

    Furthermore, the powerful West has had its way with the economies, civil wars, political unrest and development with nations such as Jamaica for centuries now. However, there are certain sought after commodities that just so happen to be in steady supply in countries such as Jamaica.

    Legal or illegal – this is a source of great power in this world, regardless of what some 1st world judge in a robe may say.

    At the end of the day, countries like Jamaica, Mexico and Colombia are not exactly scratching their heads over issues such as "How am I going to get rid of all this stuff?" No, the very citizens of the 1st world western nations keep them very commercially active by way of their unrelenting demand of said produce. How will the USA address that crucial element of this issue I wonder?

    *Furthermore, when one researches the histories of the families of some of the most respected, powerful, memorable and wealthy political figures of the USA, UK and EU and you will find many a "drug-dealing" grandpa, father and uncle.*

    Throughout time the economic and political prowess of the West has always been based upon its commercial reliance of the most sought after and lucrative commodity at the time. Sugar, cotton, opium, herbs and spices … and we all know the lengths they went to in order to secure their trade. From 400 years of (legitimized) brutal slavery to sending out national armed forces to "protect" its drug trafficking endeavors by way of eliminating the resistant citizens of the nation who dared stand in the way of "business" (Britain vs. China)!

    Some may say that was then and this is now – I am sorry but life does not work this way. Every economic and political comfort that westerners currently enjoy are directly connected to such heinous acts therefore, to criticize and attack what is happening in Jamaica and the wider world today is quite hypocritical. This is nothing but the same story, albeit on a different day.

    Laws are laws and reality is reality.

    Let us all bear this in mind as we point our fingers at what is taking place within the shores of our closest neighbour.

    In any event, I hope things do not get too violent over there and loss of life is kept at a minimum.

    Stand firm Jamaica. I only wish more of you could realize the far-reaching positive influence that your culture, spirit and music has on so many others the world over.

    On a ratio of Population:Popularity – Jamaica is absolutely #1 in the world.

    That says a lot in my book, sadly however, popularity and admiration doesn’t put food on the table.

    • Anonymous says:

      Excellent post. We Jamaicans understand exactly what you are saying – for those that dont then we know they are not Jamaicans.

      • Anonymous says:

        Au contraire, a very poor post.   The world owes you nothing/nada/zilch; they are not responsible for you, nor for your problems.  The problems are of your own making.  Fool fool!

        • whodatis says:

          Demand is demand.

          As a major financial center one would think that we could all wrap our heads around that basic principle of commerce.

    • Anonymous says:

      Jamaica has always had a weak dollar and this type of crimianl attittude/mind. This dates back at least to the 70s – what’s your point? It’s NOTHING new and nothing is likely to change.

      Did you hear PM Golding refer to their status as "murder capital of the world"? This is also NOT a new title.

    • Anonymous says:

      yup

      the IMF and World Bank are one of the "biggest of crooks." Issuing loans to buy out countries natural resources – that is what they’re all about! 

      A US capitalistic agenda to control the world. If not militarily then through the economy – how clever

    • pauly cicero says:

      A reasoned and realistic view. Perhaps the first stage of a deal brokered with Colombia in return for increased opposition to Chavez?

  21. Anonymous says:

    When is our govt. going to issue one?

  22. tamarie says:

    CNS please note, you did not mention why Dudus has so many loyal supporters in your article. 

    The Jamaican Gleaner states today:  

    "Hundreds of residents of West Kingston took to the streets last week to voice their support for Dudus and, while some joined the crowd out of fear that they would be targeted if they did not participate, many were out because of a genuine love for the ‘President’.

    ‘After God, then Dudus,’ read one placard. ‘Jesus died for us so we will die for Dudus,’ read another, and these were not idle sentiments."
     

    In other words, although on the one hand, Dudus is the head of much violence and harm against innocent people; he is their source of charity and social support. What the Jamaican government has failed to do for their people economic-wise, the ‘President,’ Dudus has taken their place.

    It is a sad situation, but this the reality of the situation. That is why a God-father has alot of power. It is all through generosity. The people have no more of a trust, confidence in their broken and corrupt government, so they took to the streets and found a man who they could relate with. 

    • Anonymous says:

       That’s very sad if they are relating with a criminal.  Doesn’t say much for those people but I don’t think that’s how you meant it to sound.

      However,

      1.  people need to support themselves and stop expecting government to support them.

      2. That’s how Dudas controls them through money. "Give a man a fish and feed them for a day."  That’s no different than politicians giving out refrigerators for votes.

      It’s a very sad day for Jamaica.  I wonder if the people realize that they are destroying their income.  Tourism

      • Anonymous says:

        What income???  Jamaica’s government just got a big loan from IMF World Bank!  They have sold much of their country! The IMF people are not dumb, they too well know that if Jamaica can’t pay off their loans, she can always devote her resources abroad and not a single cent will go to the local people.  Jamaica owes much of the world because they kept borrowing, getting themselves in debt, allowing crime to grow, and political corruption. There are more churches per capita in Jamaica than anywhere else in the world because people have lost hope in any man-made organization or government. In Kingston many would prefer Dudus, their savior over government. 

        • Anonymous says:

          "Jamaica owes much of the world because they kept borrowing, getting themselves in debt, allowing crime to grow, and political corruption."

           

          Wow — sounds like Cayman!

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes he may do some charitable stuff for the people. But how much arm has he done with his drugs and corruption and I wonder how many people has he killed like his dad the head of the "Shower Posse". The name came from the way they used to "shower" their victims with bullets!

      A man that uses his proceeds from violence to do some good …. interesting indeed. It should  be noted that he does have some "legit" businesses and apparently gets multi-million dollar contracts from the Jamaican Govt. I also supsect he knows a lot and won’t live through this ordeal or he may give up some key people.

      Hasn’t his brother also been killed due to the criminal enterprise they operate in?

    • sandra says:

      Immigration and Customs here in the Cayman Islands should be on the Alert as well. You may have certain individuals attempting to smuggle in firearms. Our Police should also analyse a record of ED cards of passengers traveling to Jamaica

    • Anonymous says:

      I wonder if any of the families of the over 1400 deaths attributed to the "Shower Posse" are there in support of Dudus.

      I doubt it and because he is "President" because he uses money aquired by illegal means to help support the poor, does not negate the fact that he is a wanted criminal and the voice of the many people hurt by the "Shower Posse" will eventually be heard and rightfully so!

  23. Anonymous says:

    Cayman Immigration better tighteen their belts from escapees on the run.

    • judith says:

      Escapees on the run to Cayman??? 

      (excuse me… LOL  LOL  LOL  LOL )

      I too will rate you for your humor – that was a nice joke!

      :o)

  24. Anonymous says:

    Oh yea, it’s a state of emergency for him. His time has come. He is a very worried man, because Dudus is not going down alone, he is going to take the big shots with him. A lot of his backers are very worried, & not only in Jamaica.