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Jamaica Declares State of Emergency After US Demands Arrest of “Robin Hood” Drug Lord
05-26-2010, 10:59 PM,
#1
Jamaica Declares State of Emergency After US Demands Arrest of “Robin Hood” Drug Lord
http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=19346
Jamaica Declares State of Emergency After Obama Demands Arrest of “Robin Hood” Drug Lord

“Jamaican Security forces searched a volatile Kingston slum for an alleged drug lord on Tuesday after at least seven people died in violence triggered by government orders to extradite him to the United States,” reports Reuters. “Heavily armed soldiers and police conducted went door-to-door in the hunt for Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke in the Tivoli Gardens neighborhood of West Kingston.”



Jamaican security forces attack a Kingston neighborhood in an effort to capture Coke.

The United States says Coke is one of the world’s most dangerous criminals, responsible for trafficking cannabis and crack cocaine around the Caribbean, North America and the UK in exchange for guns and money, according to The Guardian. Prior to the Obama administration leaning on Jamaica’s PM Bruce Golding and his Labor Party, Coke enjoyed substantial protection from the government.



Feds in the U.S. unveiled charges against Coke last August and accused him of selling marijuana and cocaine in New York and elsewhere and arming his associates with illegally trafficked weapons. The Justice Department lists Coke among the “world’s most dangerous narcotics kingpins.”



It turns out arresting Coke will be no easy matter. Gang members attacked police stations in and around Kingston as it became clear Coke was a wanted man. “In response, the prime minister put troops on the streets and declared a state of emergency in Tivoli Gardens, the west Kingston neighborhood, or ‘garrison,’ loyal to Mr. Coke, who is commonly known as Dudus, and his Shower Posse gang,” reports the New York Times.



It is the sort of one dimensional story the corporate media loves — a drug-dealing bad guy and his armed supporters fighting against a noble government determined to bring him to justice.



As usual, the corporate media only tells one side of the story.



“For many in Kingston’s slums, Dudas is a much better provider of political goods (education, security, and food) than the state, which translates into the popular support he gets locally,” writes John Robb for Global Guerillas.



“To the poor residents of west Kingston, Coke is a benefactor who distributes cash, food and scholarships. They call him ‘Dudus’ and vow to die for him,” adds The New York Daily News.



“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,” notes The Jamaica Gleaner.



Nearly 20 percent of the Jamaican population live in abject poverty while close to 6 percent live on less than two dollars a day. The working poor earn an average of $50 a week if they are lucky.



“The government, which spends 48 per cent of the country’s GNP to pay Jamaica’s external debt, doesn’t really make a difference in the lives of the poor, who have to depend on charity to survive,” writes the Western Catholic Reporter.



Former Prime Minister Michael Manley was elected on a non-IMF platform in 1976, but was subsequently forced into Jamaica’s first loan shark agreement with the IMF in 1977. In 2001, Jamaica owed over $4.5 billion to the IMF, the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank among other “international lending agencies,” i.e., the international banksters.



“We are seeking to get US$1.2 billion [from the IMF], and it is not a panacea. That US$1.2 billion is going to stop at the Bank of Jamaica, not one penny of that is going to go to the Ministry of Finance, that’s the nature of IMF arrangements,” PM Bruce Golding declared last December. In other words, poverty will continue in Jamaica and will likely get worse.



“The country is paying out increasingly more than it receives in total financial resources, and if benchmark conditionalities are not met, the structural adjustment program is made more stringent with each re negotiation,” explains Stephanie Black and “Life and Debt,” a documentary about IMF-imposed poverty in Jamaica (see a clip from the film below).

“To improve balance of payments, devaluation (which raises the cost of foreign exchange), high interest rates (which raise the cost of credit), and wage guidelines (which effectively reduce the price of local labor) are prescribed. The IMF assumes that the combination of increased interest rates and cutbacks in government spending will shift resources from domestic consumption to private investment…. Increased unemployment, sweeping corruption, higher illiteracy, increased violence, prohibitive food costs, dilapidated hospitals, increased disparity between rich and poor characterize only part of the present day economic crisis.”

In other words, a perfect “investment” climate for the banksters and ideal conditions for transnational corporations as they scour the globe in search of slave labor gulags. Jamaica sports “free trade zones” where workers toil five to six days a week for corporations and earn the legal minimum wage of $30 a week.



Considering the criminal practices of the IMF, World Bank, and the international bankers, it is quite natural and understandable that the Jamaicans have turned to a drug lord in order to have basic necessities met.



Only drug kingpins not working for Wall Street and the bankers are considered international criminals. As the UN’s crime chief Antonio Maria Costa pointed out in January of 2009, the illicit drug trade has been used to keep banks afloat during the manufactured global financial crisis. Billions of misery-soaked dollars keep the Wall Street ship afloat.



The bankers work closely with the government and the CIA in order to make sure millions of Americans get their daily fix. John Gotti, Jr, not a reliable source, when asked by a reporter whether or not the New York Gotti family was dealing in narcotics said, “No, who can compete with the government?” notes Catherine Austin Fitts, who has documented the massive infusion of illegal drug money on Wall Street.



Finally, it is less than certain the Jamaican government can arrest Mr. Coke and deliver him to the hypocrisy that is U.S. justice.



“As long as the conflict is mainly fought via barricades, the government has a chance of winning. If it expands to include disruption of energy, water, and food to the wider population of Jamaica (inflicting costs on those outside the slums) via blockades of intersections by protesters and the intentional breaking of Kingston’s infrastructure networks, the government is likely to lose,” writes John Robb.



If Obama and the Justice Department want to showboat Coke, they may have to send in the Marines.



Shades of Grenada and Reagan’s Operation Urgent Fury quite naturally come to mind. It should be noted that the invasion of the tiny Caribbean nation enjoyed the enthusiastic support of most Americans who are fond of watching their wars unfold on television. The talking heads on TV reading Pentagon scripts, of course, didn’t bother to mention that the CIA had worked to destabilize Grenada years before the primetime invasion.




A clip from “Life and Debt,” a documentary about what the IMF did to Jamaica.

IMF austerity translates into food taxes for Jamaica’s poor.

Kurt Nimmo is a frequent contributor to Global Research. Global Research Articles by Kurt Nimmo
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05-27-2010, 02:05 AM,
#2
RE: Jamaica Declares State of Emergency After US Demands Arrest of “Robin Hood” Drug Lord
This is yet another reason that drug prohibition should be ended.
“Today’s scientists have substituted mathematics for experiments, and they wander off through equation after
equation, and eventually build a structure which has no relation to reality. ” -Nikola Tesla

"When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace." -Jimi Hendrix
Reply
05-27-2010, 02:32 AM,
#3
RE: Jamaica Declares State of Emergency After US Demands Arrest of “Robin Hood” Drug Lord
...and bankers.
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05-27-2010, 05:08 AM, (This post was last modified: 05-27-2010, 05:16 AM by h3rm35.)
#4
RE: Jamaica Declares State of Emergency After US Demands Arrest of “Robin Hood” Drug Lord
I loved Jamaica...
Then again, "I red mysef some Lonely Planet travel gyde" before I planned my trip in the late 90's (graduation present to myself.)

I found a 1 bedroom cottage for $50/month, meals & electricity included... rented myself a moped for $15/month, and decided to spend at most 48hrs each in Kingston, MoBay, and Negril... I was there for a total of 3 mo's, smoked massive quantities of Lamb's Breath (kind bud,) drank mushroom tea every other week at Mrs. Brown's on the south coast, and quickly got over the constant shouts of "WHITEY" in the small villages all over the place... They shout it out of surprise and excitement, rather than anger. The kids are great, the women are EXTREMELY sensual, there's spectacular music with great brass and percussion players everywhere, and when you make friends, you'll make them for life. They are what you'd expect when you enter into a society of the impoverished (if you've lived in one before) - eager to share whatever they can, eager to make human connection over money, and eager to let you know that even when they're not rolling in cash, they'll still be able to take you in, put you up, and show you a better time than you can even imagine.

Fuck our country for doing this to them, and FUCK THE INTERNATIONAL BANKSTER CARTEL!!!!
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05-27-2010, 11:12 PM,
#5
RE: Jamaica Declares State of Emergency After US Demands Arrest of “Robin Hood” Drug Lord
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100525/ap_on_re_la_am_ca/cb_jamaica_slum_standoff

By DAVID McFADDEN, Associated Press Writer David Mcfadden, Associated Press Writer – Tue May 25, 7:24 pm ET

KINGSTON, Jamaica – Thousands of police and soldiers stormed the Jamaican ghettos where reggae was born Tuesday in search of a reputed drug kingpin wanted by the United States, intensifying a third day of street battles that have killed at least 30 people.

The masked gunmen fighting for underworld boss Christopher "Dudus" Coke say he provides services and protection — all funded by a criminal empire that seemed untouchable until the U.S. demanded his extradition.

Coke has built a loyal following in Tivoli Gardens, the poor West Kingston slum that is his stronghold. U.S. authorities say he has been trafficking cocaine to the streets of New York City since the mid-1990s, allegedly hiring island women to hide the drugs on themselves on flights to the United States.

Called "president" and "shortman" by his supporters, Coke does not wear flashy clothes or hold court at Kingston nightclubs like other powerful gang bosses. The few published photographs of the 5-foot-4-inch Jamaican the U.S. Justice Department calls one of the world's most dangerous drug lords show an unassuming man with a pot belly.

On Tuesday, masked gunmen in West Kingston vanished down side streets barricaded with barbed wire and junked cars. The sound of gunfire echoed across the slums on Jamaica's south coast, far from the tourist meccas of the north shore.

Schools and businesses were closed across the capital and the government appealed for blood donations for the wounded.

At the epicenter of the violence are the West Kingston slums, known as garrisons, which include the Trenchtown ghetto where reggae superstar Bob Marley was raised.

The son of an alleged gangster, the 41-year-old Coke has strong ties to the governing Jamaica Labor Party, which has counted on gunmen inside his Tivoli Gardens slum to intimidate election rivals. By exposing the ties between gangs and politicians, some hope the explosion of violence will put Jamaica on a path to reform.

"I think it certainly has been a wake up call for the entire country," said Peter Bunting of the opposition People's National Party.

Members of Coke's Shower Posse and affiliated gangs began barricading his stronghold last week following an announcement by Prime Minister Bruce Golding that he would approve Coke's extradition on drug- and gun-running.

Golding, who represents Tivoli Gardens, had stonewalled the U.S. request for nine months, straining relations. A State Department report earlier this year questioned the Caribbean island's reliability as an ally in the war against drugs, and Golding also faced domestic opposition that threatened his political career.

Police spokesman Corporal Richard Minott told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the fighting in West Kingston alone has killed 26 civilians and one security official. Police reported that earlier fighting killed two officers and a soldier.

The government imposed a monthlong state of emergency for the Kingston area on Sunday.

By Tuesday, about 10 percent of the capital was cordoned by security forces.

The violence has not touched the tourist meccas along the Caribbean island's north shore, located more than 100 miles from Kingston, or the nearby Montego Bay airport. However, several hotels reported cancellations and Air Jamaica rescheduled four flights on Tuesday because of the unrest in Kingston.

"I'm very concerned," said Wayne Cummings, president of Jamaica's Hotel and Tourist Association. "The entire Caribbean and the world is trying to pull itself out of a recession. This kind of hit, if one can call it that, comes at a very, very bad time."

Along the pitted and trash-strewn streets of West Kingston, residents say Coke is feared for his strong-arm tactics, but also is known for helping out slum dwellers with grocery bills, jobs and school fees.

Coke solidified his authority by taking charge of punishing thieves and other criminals in the ghettos, where the government has little presence and police rarely, if ever, patrol.

He reportedly owns a company called Presidential Click that throws wild street parties in Tivoli Gardens each week and handles public works contracts in West Kingston's slums, where flatbed trucks have brought in huge stockpiles of construction materials to build in barricades against the police.

His influence extends well beyond the capital. Police say gunmen from gangs that operate under the umbrella of his Shower Posse elsewhere on the island have been flocking to his defense. Federal prosecutors in the southern district of New York say drug traffickers in the U.S. also routinely sent him gifts including clothes, accessories and car parts in recognition of his influence over the American cocaine trade.

"Mr. Coke is a strongman whose tentacles spread far and wide," said the Rev. Renard White, a leader of a Justice Ministry peace initiative that works in Jamaica's troubled communities. "He has great wealth, benefited from government contracts, and owned businesses doing imports, exports, construction. He has all of these things — and everyone knows it."

The violence has its roots in the 1970s, when political factions armed gangs to intimidate opponents ahead of the 1980 general elections. But the politicians long ago lost control of the gangs. Armed with AK-47s and other assault weapons, they have fought bloody turf wars for control of extortion rings that have provoked a cycle of seemingly endless revenge killings.

Bunting, the opposition party member, accused the government of endangering the lives of police and soldiers by giving Coke so much advance warning. He said the fierce resistance was to be expected considering police have not had a presence for decades inside a community a former police chief calls "the mother of all garrisons."
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05-29-2010, 12:31 AM,
#6
RE: Jamaica Declares State of Emergency After US Demands Arrest of “Robin Hood” Drug Lord
Jamaica State of Siege: Scores Dead, Hundreds Detained

By Bill Van Auken

Global Research, May 28, 2010
World Socialist Web Site

Scores have been reported killed or wounded and hundreds arrested in what critics describe as indiscriminate violence by Jamaican security forces besieging an impoverished West Kingston neig hborhood.



The confrontation, triggered by the Jamaican government’s reluctant acquiescence to Washington’s demand for the extradition of powerful and politically connected reputed drug trafficker, Christopher “Dudus” Coke, has continued for five days. Residents of Tivoli Gardens, Jamaica’s first public housing development and a supposed stronghold of Coke and his supporters, have been turned into prisoners in their own homes as some 2,000 police and soldiers armed with automatic weapons and wearing combat helmets have stormed into the area.



In a call to Jamaica’s News Talk Radio 93FM Wednesday night, two women from the Tivoli Gardens neighborhood said that they were trapped on the floor of their home, without food, electricity or water and terrified of being shot if they raised their heads.



“We’re not animals down here,” one of the women said. “We are humans.”



Residents have reported the security forces firing rocket-propelled grenades and using bulldozers to demolish homes, while the media has raised questions about unexplained explosions in the housing estate.



The security forces have sought to keep a tight lid on the operation, turning away the media at gunpoint. On Wednesday, Jamaica’s independent public defender, Earl Witter, a government official, was allowed into the zone and reported a count of 44 civilians dead.



Hospitals, however, had by Wednesday reported receiving the bodies of 60 civilians, and there were disturbing reports that suggest the real death toll could be significantly higher. Some residents of Tivoli Gardens have reported seeing troops burning corpses on piles of tires. And Kingston’s Mayor Desmond McKenzie announced that he was launching an investigation following a Television Jamaica report Wednesday night showing police carrying coffins to a local cemetery for unauthorized burials.



McKenzie said he had demanded explanations from the chiefs of the army and the police. “I’m hoping that I will be given an answer, and the country will be given an answer that the people of West Kingston who have died under tragic circumstances are not being thrown into the ground just like that,” the mayor said.



Jamaica’s daily Gleaner reported Thursday that the carnage had “put morgues on the brink of overflowing.” Agence-France Presse reported Wednesday that the morgue at one of the major Kingston hospitals had received three truckloads of bodies, including that of a baby.



Meanwhile, the Health Ministry has announced that public hospitals in the capital and surrounding area have suspended all but emergency services until further notice because of the growing number of casualties resulting from the police-army operation.



The countdown to the confrontation began May 17 when Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding announced that, having dropped his nine-month-long opposition to the extradition of Coke, he would order his arrest.



The announcement triggered a series of non-violent demonstrations, including a march by a few hundred women on Parliament in defense of Coke, and then the erection of barricades in the streets of Kingston.



Finally, on Sunday, as the siege began, gunmen attacked several Jamaican police stations, burning one to the ground, killing two cops and wounding several others.



The accused drug lord has a significant base of support in the poor inner-city neighborhoods, where he has used his wealth and political connections to secure government contracts and jobs, while dispensing limited forms of social assistance not otherwise available.



Those political connections are at the center of Jamaica’s present crisis. Prime Minister Golding is the representative in parliament for the same Tivoli Gardens district, a seat he inherited from the previous long-time leader of the ruling Jamaica Labour Party, Edward Seaga.



It was Seaga who cemented the hold of the JLP and the drug gangsters over Tivoli Gardens. In 1980, he relied on these elements as shock troops in violent elections that claimed some 800 lives and brought his party to power through the defeat of the People’s National Party of Michael Manley. The PNP has controlled other neighborhoods with its own gang supporters.



Seaga tailored Jamaican policy to the demands of Washington, jettisoning the left-nationalist rhetoric of Manley. He became a key supporter of the Reagan administration’s Caribbean Basin Initiative, broke off relations with Cuba and supported the 1983 US invasion of Grenada.



The connections between Golding and Coke surfaced earlier this month, as questions arose about government payments to a high-powered US lobbying firm headed by Charles Mannatt, the former chairman of the Democratic Party and reported confidante of President Barack Obama.



Mannatt was apparently hired to lobby against the extradition order against Coke, meeting with administration officials to argue that the accused drug lord was in fact a legitimate businessman and philanthropist.



While first claiming that a local JLP-connected lawyer pretending to represent the government had paid for Mannatt’s services, Golding later acknowledged that he had authorized payment of the lobbying bills by the JLP.



In what appears to be a ratcheting up of US pressure on Golding, ABC News reported Wednesday that the prime minister had been named in US court documents as a “known criminal affiliate” of Coke. According to the ABC report, US officials cited wiretapped telephone conversations between the Jamaican leader and the accused drug trafficker.



Meanwhile, the London daily Independent reported that Coke’s gang, the so-called Shower Posse—so named for the quantity of bullets it unleashes in confrontations with its rivals—was in the direct employ of the JLP and used to turn out the vote in the district during elections.



Golding issued a statement denouncing both media reports as “extremely offensive” and part of a “conspiracy to undermine the duly elected Government of Jamaica.” ABC responded that it is sticking by its story.



Despite the growing evidence of criminality in the government, the opposition People’s National Party has withdrawn its previous demand for a no-confidence vote and rallied to the support of the JLP government’s military crackdown. The party’s leader in parliament declared that “now is not the time” for such a debate, and that “all of us must take this opportunity to rid the society of a cancer that has befallen us over time.”



Human rights advocates in Jamaica condemned the unfolding state violence, while pointing out that lawless acts of repression by the security forces are more the rule than the exception. According to Amnesty International, police in Jamaica killed 253 people in 2009, and took a similar number of lives in previous years.



“I have grave concerns about the loss of life,” Yvonne McCalla-Sobers, convener of Families Against State Terrorism (FAST), a Jamaican human rights group, told the WSWS. “If you take the round figure of 50 people killed, almost all of them in Tivoli and Denham Town, and the fact that the police report only four guns recovered, all of them outside of those areas, it is quite a disparity. It is hard to believe that 50 people all fired at the police, and then their guns disappeared. Such a disparity suggests that people were killed indiscriminately.”



She added that serious questions were also raised by the roundup of over 500 people by the police. “It suggests that the police who went into Tivoli Gardens didn’t know who they were looking for. It’s like net fishing, instead of spear fishing. You just throw out your net and hope you find some sizeable fish among all of the minnows.”



As a result, she said, people were deprived of their jobs, and a number of student youth caught up in the dragnet were prevented from taking their examinations. Those arrested, she added, were prevented from seeing attorneys for days.



She added that the actions of the security forces appeared to be a matter of “collective punishment” against the entire population of the Kingston district for acts carried out by unknown individuals who assaulted police stations last Sunday. “Clearly, we don’t see any signs that the people who did these things have been caught,” she said.



“These police killings have been going on for quite a while,” Lloyd D’Aguilar, a radio journalist and campaigner against police abuses, told the WSWS. “We have had one of the highest rates of homicide in the world, one of the highest rates of extra-judicial killings and one of the most corrupt governments in the world.”



D’Aguilar linked the eruption of violence in Kingston to mounting social tensions produced by the impact of the world financial crisis on the island’s economy and an official unemployment rate that has climbed to 14.5 percent, with many more jobless workers not even counted.



“We have lost a lot of jobs in the past year, about 70,000 on top of the 700,000 that we already had out of work,” he said. “The crisis has seen the bauxite-aluminum industry collapse, with plants shut down and workers laid off. The sugar industry has also gone into slump, which accounts for a lot of jobs. And much of the private sector has used the crisis as an opportunity to reposition, laying off people to boost their profits.”



The government has imposed the full impact of the crisis upon the working class. Jamaica is one of the most highly indebted countries in the world, with a debt to GDP ratio of 120 percent. The IMF recently reached a US$1.27 billion Stand-By Arrangement with Jamaica, conditioned on deficit-cutting measures that include several billion dollars in cuts from basic services such as the National Health Fund and a new round of regressive taxes.



The response of the Jamaican ruling elite to the deepening social and economic crisis, said D’Aguilar, “has always been to deal with it in a paramilitary way. They don’t invest in the inner-city neighborhoods and they don’t create jobs for young people.”



He added that the Jamaican financial elite had grown wealthy off of the deepening misery of the population. “The IMF deal is meant to shore up the banks and ensure the payment of the country’s debt,” he said. “According to official figures, 60 percent of that debt is in local hands, while 40 percent is held by foreign entities. But even a portion of the foreign holdings is actually owned by people in Jamaica. So what you have here now is a rapacious finance capitalist class that exercises a total lock on the economy.”



The Jamaican government has used the present crisis to push for the speedy implementation of a sweeping series of crime bills that will largely institutionalize the kind of repressive actions now being unleashed by the security forces.
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05-31-2010, 02:34 AM, (This post was last modified: 06-04-2010, 12:47 AM by h3rm35.)
#7
RE: Jamaica Declares State of Emergency After US Demands Arrest of “Robin Hood” Drug Lord
June 2, 2010
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/03/world/americas/03jamaica.html?ref=world&pagewanted=print
Jamaican Forces Accused of Killing Unarmed Men
By KAREEM FAHIM

KINGSTON, Jamaica — As the battle for Tivoli Gardens raged, soldiers knocked on a door at Building 27. Inside, 16 or 17 people were huddled for safety, including a 22-year-old barber named Errol Spence. His family said a soldier searched him and did not find any evidence that he was one of the gunmen shooting at security forces. Still, one police officer asked Mr. Spence’s sister a question that at first confused her.

“He said how much brother I have,” the sister, Twanna-Kay Spence, recalled, speaking in the local dialect. “I said, ‘Two.’ ”

“He said, ‘Well, one brother you’re going to have.’ ”

The officer told her brother to sit on the floor against a wall between a bedroom and the kitchen, she said. Then he fired four or five shots from a rifle into Mr. Spence’s chest and head. As officers dragged Mr. Spence’s body out by his feet, another police officer, a woman, was directed to pick up the shells, the witnesses said.

The episode is among several accusations of extrajudicial killings during several days of fighting that left at least 70 civilians and 3 members of the security forces dead, as state security forces made an assault on the garrison neighborhood of Tivoli Gardens to arrest a crime leader named Christopher Coke, who remains at large. Officials later said they met fierce resistance from gunmen, and during the battle, soldiers and police officers searched for men of fighting age, convinced that supporters of Mr. Coke from other neighborhoods had joined the fight.

Witnesses assert that the police simply executed some of them based not on evidence but on age.

The account of Mr. Spence’s killing was based on interviews with four people who said they saw the shooting: two female neighbors, Mr. Spence’s sister and his girlfriend. They said Mr. Spence was unarmed.

A police spokesman, Gilmore Hinds, declined to comment on the specifics of the accusations, pending at least two state investigations, but he called the story “incredible.”

Though their stories could not be verified, several other people within a few blocks of Tivoli Gardens also say that young men in their families, not gunmen, were killed by police officers or soldiers. Mr. Hinds said combatants were among those the security forces had killed, but the government has provided little evidence — a photograph of a dead man with a gun, for example, or the biography of a dead fighter.

As relatives search for answers about the killings, questions are emerging about the capacity of Jamaica’s public defender, Earl Witter, whose office is badly underfinanced, to investigate all of the accusations fully and swiftly. The police said they were also investigating the killings.

Mr. Witter said that he had reached out to the United Nations Development Agency and the United States Agency for International Development for help finding forensic pathologists and radiologists overseas who could help with the autopsies, which have been delayed. Mr. Witter said he also needed help from independent firearms examiners to analyze bullet fragments.

Mr. Witter confirmed that he had visited the apartment where Mr. Spence’s relatives said he was killed, but declined to comment on the case.

Several of the accusations emerging from Tivoli Gardens center on the conduct of officers in the Jamaica Constabulary Force, which has faced criticism in the past by human rights groups like Amnesty International for the relatively high number of people killed by police officers every year. In recent years, Amnesty found, 12 percent of killings were committed by police officers. At the same time, in a country with one of the world’s highest rates of violent crime, much of it stemming from intractable gang violence, 12 to 14 police officers are killed every year, according to the department.

Mr. Hinds, the police spokesman, called inquiries into reports of brutality “premature” and emphasized that accounts of civilian casualties should be measured in context.

“All the entrances were barricaded, and those barricades had detonators placed in them,” he said. “There were snipers on the buildings.”

He added: “I’m certain the majority of the people who were killed were adult males — able-bodied adult males. Only two were women. The majority of them were killed at the barricaded entrances, in the gullies or in front of buildings. And I’m certain an investigation would reveal that some of them would have weapons on them.”

The fighting, which began on May 24, was intense. The police have released photographs and video that appear to show gunmen in an area that looks like Tivoli Gardens. The men peer from behind sandbags on balconies and walk around with guns.

Much damage is concentrated at one end of Wilton Hill Drive, a street of single-family homes where an explosion apparently injured residents and shattered windows.

An explosion does not seem to explain what happened at No. 11, a two-story house where Jane McFarlane believes her 25-year-old-son, Martin Lindsay, and a cousin, Oshane Walker 19, were killed by police officers.

The killings occurred on May 26, near the offensive’s end and as the streets of Tivoli Gardens were quieting down, she said.

“Everything was going smooth,” said Ms. McFarlane, who was not at home at the time. Shortly before 2 p.m., she said, Mr. Walker called her cellphone, saying he had been shot in the back.

“He said, ‘Martin dead,’ and he hung up the phone,” she said. “I call back the number. He said, ‘Martin dead — they shot him in the chest and me got shot in my back.’ ” Mr. Walker told her he was upstairs.

Ms. McFarlane said she asked him who was shooting, and he answered that it was the police. Then the line went dead.

She said people on the block told her three bodies were pulled out of the house, which is still filled with blood: in the living room, in the kitchen, in a trail leading to a bedroom upstairs, where the blood is thick and spattered against all the furniture.

Ms. McFarlane said neither of the men were fighters, or associated with Mr. Coke. “Better that they associate with him,” she said. “Then I could say at least I know why they got them.”

Mr. Spence’s friends and relatives, replaying the events that day, also struggled to explain why he was dead.

After finding Mr. Spence to be unarmed, an officer asked for proof that he belonged there. His mother and his sister showed a family photo album.

The order to kill Mr. Spence, they said, was given by another officer, who silently drew his finger across his neck. Ms. Spence said they were told that because of the “state of emergency,” police officers had permission from their superiors to kill men Mr. Spence’s age.

She said they were told not to cry, or to make a sound, or they would be killed, too.
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