Jamaica Clashes Kill 30
Violence in a Jamaican slum where Bob Marley was raised and reggae was born raged on for the third-straight day, as security forces try to capture a drug lord who is subject for extradition to the United States. The clashes in East Kingston have left at least 30 people dead as police and soldiers exchanged fire with gunmen connected to drug kingpin Christopher “Dudus” Coke, who is wanted by the U.S. for using women to transport cocaine to New York City.
Most of the clashes have occurred in the surrounding areas of Trenchtown, a section of West Kingston recognized as the birthplace of reggae. The violence erupted after Prime Minister Bruce Golding announced last week that he will approve Coke’s extradition to the U.S. Golding, who represents Coke’s stronghold known as the Tivoli Gardens slum, had ignored the extradition request for months but changed tune last week due to intense opposition to his stand.
Coke had been untouchable due to his strong ties to the ruling Jamaica Labor Party and his “Robin Hood” persona. However, the U.S.’s request pressured the government and challenged the Caribbean nation to prove its reliability as a strong partner in Washington’s fight against drug trafficking.