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DUDUS: The man who holds a nation hostage …

Published: Sunday
May 23, 2010 10
Christopher ‘Dudus’ CokeMembers of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) enter the rugged hills of Green Bay in St Catherine for training yesterday. Last week, the JDF called out the National Reserve after residents of West Kingston vowed to defend their ‘President’ – Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke – who is wanted in the United States of America to answer drug-trafficking charges. – Norman Grindley/Chief Photographer1 2 >Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke is not one of those flashy dons who one sees at every dance or nightclub ‘flossing’ with bottles of high-priced liquor and scores of scantily dressed girls in his entourage.
Unlike other dons, such as the late William ‘Willie Haggart’ Moore, Dudus will party quietly, and most times, you won’t even know that he is at the dance
He is also not one of those dons who crave the attention of the media while flaunting power.
You would not find him following in the footsteps of the incarcerated Donald ‘Zekes’ Phipps, who would pose for the television cameras and boast about what he had done or would be doing.
“You know that I don’t talk to the media,” is the stock response from Dudus on the few occasions journalists have been able to get close enough to ask him questions.
But none of the numerous dons, strongmen or area leaders Jamaica has produced has wielded the influence of Coke – a man people call ‘Shortman’, ‘Presi’, ‘Bossy’, or just plain ‘Dudus’.
business success
A successful businessman, the company, Incomparable Enterprise, for which he was director up to December 2002, received millions of dollars in state contracts annually. His other company, Presidential Click, stages the biggest weekly street dance – ‘Passa Passa’- in Jamaica, plus what is now a dancehall calendar event,’Champions In Action’.
Coke, according to key police sources, manages a network of criminal associates across the island, the Caribbean, North America and the United Kingdom.
Dudus is benefactor to many persons who depend on him to send their children to school, buy food and, most important, settle disputes beyond Jamaican borders.
But the United States authorities say a big portion of the wealth Dudus spends so freely comes from the illegal drug trade, while
many of the guns on the streets of Jamaica are brought here through his criminal network.
“Dudus runs the most sophisticated drug ring in Jamaica,” a senior cop told The Sunday Gleaner, although he could offer no explanation as to why local police had not arrested and charged him in connection with any major crime.
“Dem man deh big and have links on both sides of the political fence, even though you know him support the JLP (Jamaica Labour Party),” said a rookie cop who entered the force with the bright idea that he could be the one to arrest and prosecute some of the island’s crime kingpins.
“The senior man them already tell me say some man bigger than me, so all if me see Dudus with a spliff (ganja cigarette), me fi just mek him gwaan,” added the rookie.
power of the man
That is an indication of the power of the man, and if there was any lingering questions about the reach of Dudus – who is wanted in the United States to answer gun and drug charges – those should have disappeared in the past few days.

The extradition request for Dudus is threatening to put an end to the political life of a prime minister, has already caused the resignation of a government senator, and has led to questions about the credibility of an administration that came to power with great expectations less than three years ago.
In addition, it has reduced commerce in downtown Kingston to a fraction of its regular performance, forced the army to call out the National Reserve, and caused the police to engage in planning an information strategy that has never before been seen by or commandeered the full attention of the entire nation.
If that were not enough, the spin-off from the extradition request has led the US to issue a travel alert for Jamaica, caused Britain and Canada to issue travel advisories for their nationals, and has the international media flooding Jamaica with calls for information.
While widespread rumour has it that CIA operatives have flooded Jamaica on account of the Coke issue, The Sunday Gleaner can confirm that international law-enforcement agencies and national-security partners have been keeping a close watch on the Dudus drama.
outside plea?
The Member of Parliament for West Kingston – the home base of Dudus – Prime Minister Bruce Golding, has appealed to the residents of Tivoli Gardens to remain calm and allow the extradition request to go through the courts.
However, the appeal, delivered from the Office of the Prime Minister on Friday, sounded more like an outsider pleading for cooperation rather than the man in charge of the constituency.
Of note, Golding did not say to the residents, ‘Remove the many fortified blockades that you have erected!, an order that if issued by Dudus, would take place in minutes.
Hundreds of residents of West Kingston took to the streets last week to voice their support for Dudus and, while some joined the crowd out of fear that they would be targeted if they did not participate, many were out because of a genuine love for the ‘President’.
“After God, then Dudus,” read one placard. “Jesus died for us so we will die for Dudus,” read another, and these were not idle sentiments.
The police are hoping that lawyers representing Coke will convince him to turn himself in and if that does not work, the security forces are adamant that they will arrest him. But as that drama plays out, an entire nation holds its collective breath as one man holds a country hostage

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