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Caribbean News Desk radio prog: Jamaica begins inquiry into killing of over 70 persons while hunting drug lord

Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke in 2012 after being extradited to US to face drug charges.

San Juan, Dec 1 (EFE).- A commission to evaluate the performance of Jamaican security forces during the disturbances of May-June 2010 in Kingston’s Tivoli Gardens community began work here on Monday.

The Commission – chaired by former Barbados Justice Secretary David Simmons – started hearings with a discussion as to whether community residents should receive financial compensation.

Lloyd D’Aguilar, convener of the Commission, proposed the discussion and questioned the government’s commitment to implementing the body’s final recommendations, the Jamaica Observer newspaper said in its online edition.

In the following weeks, the Commission will interview witnesses.

Once the investigation is complete, the panel is expected to submit to the government a report with recommendations over local authorities’ actions in Tivoli Gardens, where more than 70 people died.

Dozens of others were injured and around 500 people arrested.

The disturbances arose from authorities’ attempt to apprehend reputed drug lord Christopher “Dudus” Coke in response to a U.S. request for his extradition.

Tivoli Gardens was Coke’s stronghold.

Coke was finally apprehended in late June 2010 while traveling outside Kingston. He was quickly turned over to the United States.

After his arrest, members of Coke’s organization attacked several police stations and barricaded the entrances of Tivoli Gardens to prevent further incursions by the local authorities.

In 2011, Coke pleaded guilty to extortion and assault but avoided a life sentence after reaching a plea agreement with prosecutors in New York.

He was sentenced to 23 years in prison.

 You can listen to this and the following stories in today’s edition of Caribbean News Desk here:

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