Kingston Jamaica declares monthlong state of emergency

Kingston Jamaica

Civil unrest has led to areas of Kingston, Jamaica being declared State of Emergency areas. Image from Wikitravel Commons.

In Kingston, Jamaica, an outbreak of violence connected to a drug cartel has led to officials declaring a monthlong state of emergency. The unrest started when the U.S. State Department requested the extradition of Christopher “Dudus” Coke. Some are pointing to the unrest as proof of government corruption. Others are saying this situation is a chance for the government to prove itself.

Kingston Jamaica put under limited state of emergency

The limited state of emergency declaration for Kingston, Jamaica currently only covers two districts. As of Monday, seven police officers have been wounded, and at least three people have been killed. Police stations have been the central targets of these attacks, with at least five police stations set on fire in the last three days. Jamaica has not requested to borrow money for additional enforcement assistance yet. Currently, areas of Kingston have been barricaded by the related gangs and are being patrolled by heavily-armed groups of people.

Christopher Coke suspected to be behind unrest

The civil unrest in Kingston, Jamaica, started when the U.S. State Department asked the Jamaican government to extradite Christopher “Dudus” Coke. Coke is the suspected head of the Shower Posse of drug traffickers. The Shower Posse is so named for the alleged murder of hundreds of people, with showers of bullets, during the cocaine wars of the 1980s. Christopher Coke is currently suspected of trafficking marijuana and cocaine to the United States. Prime Minister of Jamaica, Golding, has stated that he will cooperate with the United States in the extradition of Christopher Coke. It is suspected that supporters of the drug trafficker are responsible for the violence.

Gang-related violence leads to Kingston Jamaica travel advisory

Kingston, Jamaica, is a popular tourist destination for cruise ships and travelers. Because of the extensive violence that has led to heavily armed police patrolling the streets, looting and death, the State Department in the U.S., as well as Canadian and British governments have issued a travel advisory for Kingston, Jamaica. This travel advisory is not expected to impact cruise travel, and the Kingston airport is still open. However, with 45 percent of the Jamaican economy relying on tourism, the $1.3 billion industry is sure to feel the impact of the travel advisory.

Shower Posse gang behind Kingston Jamaica unrest

Shower Posse gang members have been arrested in Toronto, New York City, Florida and Jamaica. Christopher Coke took control of the Shower Posse from his father in the 1980s. Lawyers for Coke have challenged the extradition in Jamaican Supreme Court, who will render a decision relatively soon. Until the extradition of Christopher Coke is resolved one way or another, it is likely the civil unrest in Kingston, Jamaica, will continue.

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