Jamaica attacks: a legacy of ties between politicians and gangs
What do Dudus Coke, Jah-T, and Jim Brown all have in common? They're all related, connected to the ruling Jamaica Labour Party, and their Kingston gang ties have helped spark multiple Jamaica attacks.
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The lobbying firm was founded by former Democratic National Committee Chair and US Ambassador to the Dominican Republic Charles Manatt, who was directly involved in lobbying on Jamaica's behalf, according to a Foreign Agents Registration Act filing reported by the American Lawyer.Skip to next paragraph
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Golding's embarrassing television mea culpa was what forced Golding to finally give in to US pressure to extradite Coke, according to Jamaican press reports. Of course, the US had been hinting recently it was running out of patience with Golding, who came to power in 2007 and whose government relies on US aid and tourism.
"Delays in proceeding with the significant extradition request for a major alleged narcotics and firearms trafficker who is reported to have ties to the ruling Jamaica Labour Party, and subsequent delays in other extradition requests, have called into question Kingston’s commitment to law enforcement cooperation with the US," the State Department wrote in a March report. Jamaica's "ambitious anticorruption and anticrime legislative agendas announced in 2007 remain stalled in parliament."
Though Golding's party relies on groups like the Shower Posse to deliver votes – and a number of senior party members are believed to do business with the dons – Golding has repeatedly promised to end the gang impunity in the garrisons that have given Jamaica one of the highest murder rates in the world.
Most of the world found out this week how complicated that could prove to be.
"For a decade and half, Mr. Golding preached against the dangers of the nexus between criminality and politics in Jamaica and the zones of political exclusion, the so-called garrison communities, spawned by this relationship," Jamaica's leading daily, The Gleaner, wrote in an editorial today "But not only has he done little in office to break those ties, but for nine months his government resisted America's attempt to extradite Mr Coke... if Mr Golding is indeed serious about confronting those powers of evil, he will not only have to declare his personal renunciation, even if tangential, of any relationship with the hard men of violence and at the same time confront and sideline those within the ruling Jamaica Labour Party who gain, politically and otherwise, from their links with criminals."
[Editor's note: This story was edited after posting to correct a serious error. Mr. Seaga has not passed on, and the Monitor apologizes for its error.]
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