On May 24, Jamaica declared a state of emergency due to supporters of alleged drug lord Christopher "Dudus" Coke protesting the government's decision to extradite him to the United States to face drug trafficking and gun charges. Now, more than four days later, the violence is growing.
Here are ten things you might not know about Jamaica.
In 1655, England seized the island and a plantation economy - based on sugar, cocoa, and coffee - was established.
The abolition of slavery in 1834 freed a quarter million slaves, many of whom became small farmers.
In 1962, Jamaica gained full independence when it withdrew from the Federation.
In 1958, Jamaica joined other British Caribbean colonies in forming the Federation of the West Indies.
The roots of reggae music are fixed in slavery. Slave orchestras were formed by several of the richer planters, think Jimmy Cliff and Bob Marley.
Every year poets and writers from around the world gather to attend a literary festival held in Jamaica called, "Calabash International Festival."
The cycle of violence, drugs, and poverty has served to impoverish large sectors of the populace. Many rural and resort areas remain relatively safe and contribute substantially to the economy, according to CIA World Fact Book.
Jamaica is a tourist-friendly country. In fact, the New York Times reports, Kingston has been called the nerve center of Jamaica, offering strip-mall-like boulevards to a Spanish Court hotel.
Jamaican native Christopher "Dudus" Coke is described as one of the world's most dangerous drug lords by the United States Justice Department.
Supporters of alleged drug lord Christopher "Dudus" Coke took to the streets of Kingston, Jamaica to protest of the government's decision to extradite him to the United States to face drug trafficking and gun charges. Many believe he has had a greater influence on the people of Jamaica than the government.