If Jamaica’s local and international drug don Christopher “Dudus” Coke didn’t know, now he knows that to be on the USA’s “Most Dangerous Men in the World” list means Uncle Sam is going to do some pretty hard butt whipping. If it was possible for Sadaam to rise from the dead, he would have told him so, but then Dudus always had the option of enquiring from living proof, such as Panama’s General Manuel Noriega.
Who wouldn’t give anything to watch an Oprah interview someday before her last show, in which Dudus “skypes” the world to tell how he became known as the “President” and was the most powerful man in Jamaica, so powerful that even Prime Minister Bruce Golding tried to shield him against the Americans for the sake of Golding’s own local support and political existence.
Who wouldn’t want to know how Mr. Chris Coke inherited from his father, control of the drug and gun trading gang, the Shower Posse; notorious for “showering” bullets into their enemies and running multi million dollar operations in Jamaica, the USA and other international markets. If only he could share with us the details of how he came to be the sole, recognisable economic pillar, law enforcer and social benefactor of West Kingston’s slum area, the Tivoli Gardens, where residents depended on him and not their MP (who is Prime Minister Golding), for their day to day survival.
It is after all, not a coincidence that since May, over 70 residents from the area have died and many put their lives on the line, fighting the police and soldiers that were tasked with arresting their hero. Having benefited from Dudus through medical care assistance, food, jobs and most ironically, safety from criminals, the folk from Kingston’s “Wild West” are sorry to see their Robin Hood go. The Jamaican Observer and other media have aptly quoted his supporters as saying, “'Dudus next to God” and, “Leave Dudus alone, a him send our children to school, him no break no law, a lie dem a tell pon him." They say that they will die for Dudus just as Jesus died for them!
“What’s in a name?” people sometimes ask. Well Mr Coke should be cursing his family name “Coke” which seems to have destined the family to be the royal family of coke dealing. Daddy, Lester Lloyd "Jim Brown" Coke, died mysteriously in 1992 while in custody and like his son, about to face the rap of the USA. Brother, Mark 'Jah T' Coke also died in that year in a crime related death. Another brother, Leighton ‘Livity’ Coke and sister, Sandra “Sandy” Coke are in Jamaican jails, after surrendering weeks ago to the police who were on the look out for them in connection with their gang activities. Dudus, being the religious man that he claims to be, ought to be praying that the buck stops with him and his children will not inherit this ill fated family legacy.
Does Coke feel betrayed by Prime Minister Golding? Possibly, if it is true that Dudus’ business empire benefited from huge government contracts, was left untouched by Jamaican law enforcers and in return, Golding was given the Tivoli Gardens parliamentary seat and together with his Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), was guaranteed continued political support. However, there is also the stark reality that this is not just about betrayal, Golding had no choice, the pressure from the Obama administration was beyond his control.
The conspiracy theories (such as those on this link: http://www.negrilstories.ca/index.php?pr=Jamaican_Oil), allude to recently discovered oil and gas resources in the Jamaica and the Gulf of Mexico in general, as reasons why Dudus is being hammered harder than hordes of other drug lords operational in and around the US. He might just believe that it is true that weak Caribbean governments without the backing of powerful gang lords such as himself, could be a desire of the United States and chaotic civil unrest, as seen recently in Haiti after the quake and in Jamaica over Dudus, could be the reason Uncle Sam needs to pop in to “assist” these states and secure some oil rights in the process.
For all we know, Dudus might actually be thankful that he is incarcerated in the United States, not in a Jamaican jail where too many important people who dealt with him in the past, might want him to go the same way as his father did, so as not to expose them.
For other Jamaicans who are not from the slums, the arrest of Dudus could be the best thing that has happened to them for some time. To them, the curtain is finally dropping on the drug and gang culture. They hope that Jamaica will now once again be synonymous only with pleasant images of a beautiful tropical paradise, with sandy beaches, sweet Reggae melodies, gorgeous women and dreadlocked men conversing in the exotic patois, about “one love” between “I and I.“