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Extraditing Coke
An exclusive investigation into Jamaica's handling of a US extradition request.
Last Modified: 01 Jul 2010 09:47 GMT

An exclusive investigation into Jamaica's handling of a US extradition request which led to a state of emergency across the capital and the murder of up to 200 people.

What began as an invasion of a notorious west Kingston slum quickly escalated into a nationwide manhunt leading to claims of a massacre and a cover-up.

To the people of Tivoli Gardens, Christopher Coke is the "president" - but he is also considered one of the most dangerous narcotics kingpins in the world by the US justice department.

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What is undisputable is the fact that he wields more power than the man who represents the area in parliament - Bruce Golding, the nation's prime minister.

Coke enjoys deep-rooted respect and loyalty from residents of Kingston and beyond - that is why the government's operation to arrest him has split the nation in two.

Thirty years ago political parties used armed groups of supporters to eliminate rivals and deliver votes.

They then looked on as those gang leaders became the Caribbean middlemen for South American drug cartels - Christopher Coke's father was arguably the most revered.

Now the government's decision to place the nation under a state of emergency in order to arrest him places Jamaica at a crossroads.

One road leads to the restoration of law and order and the other leads to narco-statehood.

Al Jazeera English went beyond the headlines to discover who the man accussed of drugs and weapons smuggling really is.

He has been compared to Pablo Escobar because of the huge sums of money he pours into the area and his tight reign known as "one order".

With exclusive access to Tivoli Gardens and candid interviews we discovered an individual who is loved, feared and scorned in equal measure - and whose existence threatens to bring down an entire government.

Extraditing Coke can be seen from Thursday, July 1, 2010 at the following times GMT: Thursday: 0530, 1930; Friday: 1400; Saturday: 2330; Sunday: 1630; Monday: 0230.

Source:
Al Jazeera
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