To Americans, what is happening in Jamaica may be incomprehensible. I mean – it seems pretty rational that the Police would act to shut down gangs. But this is Jamaica – and what may seem to be one thing on the surface is quite another underneath.
Since the 70’s street gangs have operated closely with Political Parties. Or even the role of the US Government in the fray. In 1984, this led to a virtual Civil War on the streets in the same Kingston neighborhood which is the power base for drug kingpin “Dudus”. 800 people were killed.
What no one wants to talk much about today, is the relationship between Dudus’ gang, and the ruling Party.
As a historical lesson in how Jamaica got to the situation today – this video from 1984 examines the relationships between the drug gangs…
And the political parties.
Current reports vary from 45 to 74 killed so far. It is unclear how many – if any of the dead are gang members. The Jamaican Army has moved in, and gang members have set up snipers even in downtown Kingston – bringing commerce to a complete halt.