Sunday, May 30, 2010

Jamaican Robin Hood?

What if the state didn't provide to your community but a certain man stepped up and provided food, education, and health care? What if that man funded such efforts with money from illegal business?

The USA wanted to arrest and extradite "Dudus" Coke on drugs/weapons charges. Charges in US law. Dudus is in Jamaican. His generous support of very poor communities has garnered him widespread support. It is difficult for any military force to find one man amongst the masses who support him. It turned into full on urban warfare and many civilians died.

The conflict is a classic example of a hollow state (Jamaica) in conflict with local sources of order (Dudus). Although his gang has more legitimacy than the state, this doesn't necessarily translate into military power, since he maintains a monopoly of force locally.
As long as the conflict was fought via barricades, the government had the chance of winning. If it expanded to include disruption of energy, water, and food to the wider population of Jamaica, the government would have been more likely to lose.

Now Dudus is reportedly handing himself over in New York.


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