How Safe is It to Travel to Jamaica Right Now?
Reports of gunfire, Molotov cocktails and drug-related violence are not what you want to hear about happening somewhere you're about to go to for vacation, but that's the case right now in Kingston, Jamaica, where gangs are clashing with police in protection of a notorious drug lord.
The Jamaican government declared a state of emergency in Kingston yesterday, due to such serious occurrences in Tivoli Gardens and Hannah Town, a slums in downtown Kingston that have barricaded themselves off while hiding Christopher "Dudus" Coke, a "Jamaican 'don' charged in the U.S. with drug and arms trafficking." The Jamaican government is attempting to capture Coke and extradite him to the United States, and the gangs of these towns aren't too happy to be losing their leader, who provides security and stability for their otherwise dangerous community.
If you've got trips planned to Montego Bay, Negril or Ocho Rios, you should be just fine and untouched by any of the strife down in Kingston, since the capital is quite a far distance away. If, however, you have business soon in Kingston, we advise adding trip insurance to your flights and hotels, as the violence has the strength to possibly break out of the slums and into the streets...especially if the police do manage to get their hands on Dudus.
As always, we advocate being aware of the situation anywhere you are traveling, and following the latest at CNN would be wise in this case.
· Jamaica Declares Emergency as Police Clash with Kingston Gangs [Telegraph UK]
· Gun Fire, Firebombs in Barricaded Slum [MSNBC]
· Travel Alerts [Jaunted]
[Photo: Reuters/Telegraph UK]