By: Billy Dean Valentine
Pace International Law Review, Editor in Chief
Frantic to cease the massacre on the streets of Kingston from four days of gun battles between Jamaican security forces and supporters of a fugitive drug lord, U.S. officials are negotiating his surrender to face federal cocaine trafficking and gun-running charges.
The lawyer of accused drug linchpin Christopher “Dudus” Coke was in contact with U.S. authorities regarding a voluntary extradition. It has been contemplated that Coke wanted to evade being killed by Jamaican police and troops who were attacking his stronghold in the capital city.
At least 73 people were killed in Kingston, Jamaican police said, as authorities stormed a slum where Coke resides after Prime Minister Bruce Golding decided to extradite him to face trial in New York after months of opposing such a move. Most of the dead were young men, gang supporters of Coke, who were killed when heavily armed security forces stormed the Tivoli Gardens slum that U.S. prosecutors said served as a “garrison” for his supporters.
Up to 500 people were detained in connection with the search for Coke, reputed head of a criminal organization known as the Shower Posse, which murdered hundreds of people by “showering” them with bullets during the 1980s cocaine wars. “Security forces are under extreme pressure now,” said Mark Shields, Jamaica’s former deputy police commissioner, who now runs a private security firm. “We have urban war going on.”