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Dozens dead in Jamaica fighting

Authorities in Jamaica say that gunfights in the capital Kingston have left at least 30 people dead, as hundreds of troops and police search for an alleged drug kingpin wanted by the US. At least 25 people were injured as well.

The violence has been triggered by the Jamaican government’s efforts to extradite Christopher “Dudus” Coke, the alleged leader of the “Shower Posse” group. Armed security forces stormed the Tivoli Gardens slum of western Kingston on Monday in an effort to locate Coke, who has not been found. Last week, Coke’s supporters barricaded the area in an attempt to thwart his arrest. Read More…

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State of emergency declared in Kingston, Jamaica

A state of emergency has been declared in Kingston, the capital of Jamaica, after gunmen beseiged and fired at police stations, injuring at least two police officers and a civilian, killing another man. Rioters have erected barricades in the city and one police station was set on fire when it was abandoned after officers ran out of ammunition.

The violence comes after the Jamaican authorities announced that they would extradite Christopher Dudus Coke, an alledged drug lord, to the United States on drugs and firearms charges.

However Coke is seen by members of the impoverished Tivoli Gardens neighbourhood as a “godfather” like figure, who fulfills roles that the government does not, and his supporters have vowed to protect him, one demonstrator stating “we are willing to die for Dudus,”. Read More…

LA migrant workers remittances

Slumping economies in the United States, Spain and Japan are causing reverberations in the countries of Latin America as migrant workers send less money home.

Latin America

Latin America

The Inter-American Development Bank reported that for the first time since they began tracking remittances in 2000, remittances to Latin America declined in the fourth quarter of 2008, dropping 2% relative to the fourth quarter of 2007.

In January, remittances declined further, with Colombia experiencing a 16% drop relative to 2008, Brazil suffering a 14% decline, Mexico 12%, and Guatemala and El Salvador each falling 8%.

These numbers come as 2008 saw an average 10% increase in remittances. Nearly US$70 billion was sent back to families in those areas in 2008. Read More…

On this day October 11, 1865

The Morant Bay rebellion began when Paul Bogle led 200 to 300 black men and women into the town of Morant Bay, parish of St. Thomas in the East, Jamaica.

Edward John Eyre

The rebellion and its aftermath were a major turning point in Jamaica’s history, also generated a significant political debate in Britain. Today, the rebellion remains controversial, and is frequently mentioned by specialists in black and in colonial studies.

On October 7, 1865 a black man was put on trial and imprisoned for trespassing on a long-abandoned plantation, creating anger among black Jamaicans. When one member of a group of black protesters from the village of Stony Gut was arrested, the protesters became unruly and broke the accused man from prison. Read More…