US military college publication highlights links between Jamaican politicians, gangs
A United States Military Academy publication says since the Tivoli Police/Military Operation in 2010, it remains to be seen whether Jamaican politicians will avoid turning their backs on gang leaders to deliver votes in future elections.
The May 2010 operation was aimed at capturing drug lord Christopher 'Dudus' Coke for extradition to the US.
According to the article from the academy’s Combating Terrorism Center, Jamaican politicians appear to have learned from the confrontation and backed away from their historic links to criminal gangs in the last three years.
However, it notes that the links between politicians and gangs have deep roots.
The publication adds that the Dudus affair showed how dons and garrisons originally fortified by Jamaica's politicians had surpassed their control and threatened the state itself.
It said while there has been a real change in dialogue, more progress is needed to sever contacts between Jamaica's politicians and the dons.
Former Jamaica Labour Party spokesperson, Delory Chuck was cited in the article conceding that more work is necessary to break the habit of many politicians using area dons to return votes for them.
The report also concluded that since the Dudus affair Jamaican traffickers have splintered into smaller groups to avoid detection and conspiracy charges.
It said the groups have been effective at smuggling, and the Caribbean has become more important as a corridor for cocaine heading to the United States.
Coke was given a 23-year prison sentence in a New York federal court in 2012 after he pleaded guilty in 2011 to racketeering conspiracy and conspiracy to commit assault in aid of racketeering.
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