Who is to blame for the violence in Jamaica? Is it the police? Is it the infamous drug lord Dudus (also known as Christopher Coke)? Is it Prime Minister Bruce Golding for harboring Dudus for so long? Is it the Jamaican Labour Party for supporting Dudus? Is it the opposition People’s National Party for supporting drug Dons of their own? Is it the people of Tivoli Gardens who pledged to sacrifice their lives for Dudus? Is it the U.S.A. for producing and selling the guns that are being used in the gun fights and buying the drugs that are made Dudus so rich and powerful?
The answer is all of the above. The culture of Dons and Garrisons and their connections to politicians and political parties have allowed Dudus to become as powerful as he is. The global economic structure has left Jamaica an impoverished country with little ways of earning money besides tourism, music and drugs. This allows drug dealers like Dudus to replace the government as the leading force that provides for poor communities.
The Jamaican police bare a lot of responsibility for the violence. Police in Jamaica have a reputation for killing civilians and brutality. This is one of the reasons for the tense relationship between the police in Jamaica and people in the Garrisons.
The Jamaican Labour Party has protected and empowered Dudus for years, as they did his father Lester Coke, also know as Jim Brown. Still the opposition party, the People’s National Party has its connections to gangsters and garrisons too.
America has its own role in the violence going on in Jamaica. It was the U.S. who indicted Dudus on criminal charges and demanded that Jamaica arrest him. The USA supported, trained and armed the Shower Posse (which Dudus now heads) to help the JLP fight the PNP in the seventies and eighties, when Jamaica was developing a relationship with Cuba. In many ways the U.S.A. is responsible for Tivoli Gardens becoming the stronghold it is today and Dons like Dudis being as powerful as they are. The guns that are being used by the criminals are being shipped from the US and the US is supplying the Jamaican police with weapons as well. Dudus is rich because of Americans buying drugs not Jamaicans.
Still rather than blaming people for the violence, everybody in Jamaica and the USA should work together to solve the problems. Jamaica must end political corruption and police brutality and, both political parties must abandon the use of Dons and Garrisons to get political support in return for favors.
The USA needs to change its guns laws so drug lords aren’t able to stockpile weaponry to rival policemen in their countries. It also needs to stop its drug intake so these druglords don’t become the biggest support of income to their countries.
The international community must come together to find for countries like Jamaica have economies and ways to generate income other than drugs. All over the third world we see that drugs, guns and poverty always equal violence and killing. Jamaica is a small country and is as much affected by laws in the U.S. as Americans are.
If the U.S. can change its laws on drugs and guns to prohibit men like Dudus from becoming rich drug lords, with small armies that have arsenals of weapons, we can prevent future incidents like the one in Tivol Gardens. If the international community and rich first world nations can change the system of neo-colonialism that leaves third world countries poor and dependent on rich ones, drug dealers could no longer rival governments for power and the cycle of guns, drugs, poverty and violence can finally end.