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by Peter Moskos

May 26, 2010

Di President dat and anything possible wid him

I know it's wrong, but I'm kind of starting to root for Dudus. Of course I can't really root for cop killers, but this is one guy taking on two entire nations. And, at least for now, he's winning! Plus, the more I learn about Jamaica the less I want to root for the government. They're crooks. And not in a "throw-dem-bums-out-of-office" kind of way, but in a corrupt working-with-the-mobsters kind of way.

Well Dudus is still on the lamb and may have escaped the Tivoli Gardens dragnet. My quote of the day comes from the Jamaica Star: "Is like di man get a feeling and jus cut same time ... It look like di Babylon [security forces] dem a get information pon him cause di building weh him did inna a one a di first building dem weh dem search." But, kind sir, which way did Dudus go and how did he manage to get away? "Bway mi nuh know which way him tek eno but a di President dat and anything possible wid him."

Turns out that over the years the government has given Dudus's consulting company million of dollars (and nice to see one America newspaper finally get a reporter to Jamaica to cover this story). Dudus is part of the system. Dudus got paid to provide government services and keep the streets safe. And to some extend he did. Meanwhile he makes a lot of money. He reminds me a local ward alderman of 19th-century America (but with more drugs and bigger guns).

The Daily Gleaner reports:
Soldiers ... were engaged in a more than five-hour gun battle with the criminals.

One soldier was fatally shot during that battle while five others suffered gunshot wounds. Another soldier was injured in an undisclosed accident.

Medical sources [said] that the civilian death toll had climbed to 44, with the number of injured moving to 37.

The deaths included two men reportedly found in a neighbouring community with tags on their bodies, indicating they had been shot for refusing to participate in the fight to defend Coke.
Meanwhile... "An appeal was made by Health Minister Ruddy Spencer for gunmen within communities in the vicinity of the Kingston Public Hospital to cease from attacking hospital workers." Seems like a reasonable request.

I think it's a safe bet that in his area, Dudus would win any election. And the Jamaican government didn't have much a problem with him until America demanded they turn Dudus over. That's when all hell broke out. Dudus's father met the same fate and was killed (or died in a suspicious jail fire) before he could be turned over to America (and rat out police and government officials).

Once drug prohibition allows criminals to get rich and arm themselves, a massive crackdown doesn't work. It just causes violence and highlights the impotence and corruption of the supposedly legit government. It's kind of like Mexico. Except in Jamaica, unlike Mexico, the drug lords actually do seem to provide some kind of community service.

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