INDEPENDENT NEWS

Cablegate: Jamaica: Foreign Minister Warns That Prospective

Published: Fri 11 Sep 2009 06:34 PM
VZCZCXYZ0010
PP RUEHWEB
DE RUEHKG #0684 2541834
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 111834Z SEP 09
FM AMEMBASSY KINGSTON
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8060
INFO RUCNCOM/EC CARICOM COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA PRIORITY 0118
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 0622
RUEHOT/AMEMBASSY OTTAWA PRIORITY 2431
RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC PRIORITY
RHMFISS/HQ USSOUTHCOM J7 MIAMI FL PRIORITY
RUEABND/DEA HQS WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC PRIORITY
C O N F I D E N T I A L KINGSTON 000684
SIPDIS
DEPT FOR WHA/CAR (J.MACK-WILSON, W.SMITH, V.DEPIRRO)
L/LEI (C.HOLLAND, A.KLUESNER)
INR/IAA (G.BOHIGIAN)
JUSTICE FOR OIA (P.PETTY)
TREASURY FOR IA/WH (E.NEPHEW)
USAID (R. BONCY)
E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/11/2019
TAGS: CJAN CVIS PREL PGOV PINR ASEC SNAR SOCI EAID
KCOR, KCRM, JM, BR, XL
SUBJECT: JAMAICA: FOREIGN MINISTER WARNS THAT PROSPECTIVE
ARREST OF POWERFUL "DON" COULD IGNITE CIVIL UNREST, BUT
ASSURES GOVERNMENT WILL MEET OBLIGATIONS UNDER EXTRADITION
TREATY
REF: A. STATE 85807 (181409Z AUG 09)(NOTAL)
B. KINGSTON 655 (2821557Z AUG 09)(NOTAL)
C. KINGSTON 666 (021935Z SEP 09)
D. KINGSTON 676 (041911Z SEP 09)
E. KINGSTON 680 (082054Z SEP 09)
F. KINGSTON 631 (242053Z AUG 09)(NOTAL)
G. KINGSTON 634 (251851Z AUG 09)(NOTAL)
H. KINGSTON 648 (281735Z AUG 09)(NOTAL)
Classified By: CDA ISIAH L. PARNELL, Reasons 1.5 (B) AND (D)
1.(C) The prospective arrest of the major "Don" Christopher
"Dudus" Coke, who is wanted for extradition to face narcotics
and arms trafficking charges in New York (reftel A), could
ignite civil unrest in West Kingston, Spanish Town, and
Montego Bay, according to the Government of Jamaica (GoJ)'s
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and
Foreign Trade, Dr. Kenneth Baugh. Speaking in the course of
a private meeting on Sept. 10, in response to EmbOff's
inquiry regarding the extradition request, Baugh reiterated
GoJ concerns that, over the years, Coke's wealth and
influence have become "deeply ingrained" in the Jamaican
society and economy (reftels B-E). Because of the severe
economic crisis afflicting the country, at present Coke's
pervasive power was particularly dangerous: with high
unemployment, labor union discontent, and signs of civil
unrest already present (reftels F-H), his arrest could "spark
off" this volatile mix. Nevertheless, Baugh assured EmbOff,
the GoJ would "meet its obligations under the Extradition
Treaty," although "due process" would have to be followed.
(Comment: Baugh did not offer a specific timeframe. His
concerns of possible civil unrest did not strike EmbOff as a
mere pretext for GoJ delay in arresting Coke; on the
contrary, his fears are well-founded. End Comment.)
PARNELL
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