Kingston Jamaica Violence: Over 30 Dead in Attacks (Video)
Kingston Jamaica is Once Again the Scene of Violence on Tuesday May 25 as At Least 30 People Have Died
Defenders of gang leader Christopher 'Dudus' Coke clashed again with police on Tuesday May 25 in Kingston Jamaica's most violent slums as thousands of police and soldiers breached barricades in the third day of unrest.
Over 30 people have died in the fighting as confirmed by On the Ground News in Jamaica:
The Minister of Security in #Kingston #Jamaica has confirmed that 26 civillians have been killed and 7 JDF personnel have been injured. The operation is continuing, and the security forces have recovered several weapons and other paraphernalia.
Jamaican police are searching for the alleged drug gang leader Christopher 'Dudus' Coke on a warrant, after Prime Minister Bruce Golding abandoned his refusal to extradite Coke to the United States for drug and arms trafficking charges. As the New York Times reports, Bruce Golding has relied on Christopher Coke before to win votes in the West Kingston neighborhood.
However, supporters of Dudus have set up barricades in West Kingston neighborhoods, including the Trenchtown slum, to prevent the police from completing the warrant. This is one of the most violent areas in the capital, but fighting has not spread to the outer wealthier neighborhoods according to the Associated Press.
Gunfire can be heard however, but the south coast is far away from the more popular resort area of the north coast. As it is not easy to gain access to the slum region of Kingston, it is not immediately known what exactly is happening there. However the streets around this area are mostly empty and schools and most businesses have been shut down. A month-long state of emergency has been declared.
About 211 people have currently been detained for the violence and Mr. Golding is seeing this as an opportunity to perhaps rid the city of its control by many gangs.
“This will be a turning point for us as a nation to confront the powers of evil that has penalized the society and earned us the unenviable label as one of the murder capitals of the world,” Mr. Golding said.
Gangs in Jamaica have become involved in international gun and drug smuggling and has one of the highest murder rates in the world. In 2009 there were 1,660 homicide in a country of 2.8 million people says the AP. The ties between gangs and political parties are often very close and guarded, but once Mr. Golding started receiving international pressure to extradite Christopher Coke he relented and that is when violence erupted.