As Robin Hood sells out theaters at the box office, a real life Robin Hood story is playing out in the streets of Jamaica.
Alleged Cocaine Kingpin, Christopher “Dudus” Coke has barricaded himself in his Tivoli Gardens, Kingston neighborhood, fighting extradition to the United States on drug charges.Coke is the leader of the infamous Shower Posse, an international crime syndicate responsible for the distribution of cocaine and numerous murders in the U.S., Canada and Britain.
His political ties to the JLP’s (Jamaica Labor Party) top man Prime Minister Bruce Golding has been his forcefield from U.S. attempts to extradite him up until now. Under pressure from the U.S. government, who accused Goldings administration of “lack of cooperation in stopping drug trafficking”, the prime minister has vowed to arrest Dudus and turn him over to U.S. authorities.
Contrary to American perception, Dudus is hailed as a hero in his locality Tivoli Gardens garrison, a place that produced entertainers like Busy Signal. “After God, then Dudus,” has become the motto in a neighborhood where he has provided jobs and funded education for local youths.
When questioned about the situation in his hometown of Jamaica, dancehall superstar Vybz Kartel told VIBE.com, “Politics created these uncontrollable monsters called ‘Garrisons’ to exploit poor people. Tens of thousands of poor people have died in the name of politics, while the politicians themselves have lived to amass enormous wealth at the expense of the less fortunate. Both the JLP and the PNP are harvesting the seeds they sewed in the 60s/70s, and this is the cause of all of the ills in Jamaica, land we love.”
Recently the U.S. has revoked VISAs from many prominent Dancehall artists, which many believe is an attempt to “starve the artist” and pressure the government to give up Coke. Dipset UN artist Vado, who has roots in Jamaica, commented on the situation saying, “As far as me being an artist thats Jamaican but born here (in the U.S.) I feel it’s a disgrace… They’re trying to stop us from prospering. Hopefully that won’t last for long.” —Mikey Fresh with additional reporting by Chris “Knotti” Green (@Knsocial) and Ms. Raine