Archbishop Donald James of Kingston, Jamaica, said the violence sweeping the capital that has taken the lives of at least 73 people, is the result of the corruption reigning in the country.
The archbishop said the violence resulting from efforts by police to capture drug lord Christopher “Dudus” Coke and extradite him to the U.S. is “a consequence of a combination of factors related to economic problems, drugs and corruption.”
In a pastoral letter, the archbishop also pointed out that “anarchy is a true threat for all of us.” “Violence,” he continued, “is the result of laxity and the lack of integrity and responsibility on the part of everyone, but above all of politicians who for years have cultivated relationships with criminals and entire gangs in order to gain votes.”
Msgr. Kenneth Richards, the vicar general of the Archdiocese of Kingston, said drug lords such as Coke began as political activists in the 1960s but gradually became involved in illegal activities. “In the last 20 years, the islands of the Caribbean have become true centers in the drug trade between South America and the United States,” he said.
Msgr. Richards also explained that “those who have taken to the streets to defend Coke, including hundreds of women who have organized a protest, see him as a benefactor and have even compared him to Jesus.”