TWO international newspapers this weekend picked up on the Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke extradition issue, and Prime Minister Bruce Golding’s quandary as he faced calls for his resignation from office. On Saturday, the Miami Herald carried a story, Jamaican leader caught in the middle of a drug war, highlighting the role of the President, Coke, and his influence which is threatening to topple the prime minister.
“Experts describe Coke as Jamaica’s answer to Pablo Escobar, the late Colombian drug trafficker whose benevolence in the community afforded him absolute control – and respect,” the newspaper said, also quoting Coke’s lawyer and Government senator Tom Tavares Finson who said Coke is “someone who is fair, eschews the use of violence and whose main enterprise is economic development in the inner city and the development of youth through economic activities”.
“Most experts agree that the government is unlikely to let Coke go. He knows too much,” the paper said. In the United Kingdom today, the Telegraph carried a story, Jamaican PM accused of blocking ‘drug lord’ trial, which also reported on Golding’s actions, and how the refusal to extradite has strained relationships between Jamaica and the United States.
“[Coke] faces life imprisonment if convicted in the US but continues to walk free in his home country,” the Telegraph said. It continued: “Both of Jamaica’s main political parties have for decades been accused of courting the support of criminal gangs because of their usefulness in getting people to vote during elections.”
The Telegraph also linked Coke to the Shower Posse, stating that “Scotland Yard has long suspected that Mr Coke, an elusive figure in Jamaica who has never been convicted of any crime, has been heavily involved in Britain’s cocaine trade. “The so-called Yardie gangs operating in Brixton have such strong links with Mr Coke’s domain that part of the south London neighbourhood is nicknamed ‘Little Tivoli’ in honour of Tivoli Gardens,” the paper said.