The European Connection: A Regional Approach to Fighting Drugs in the Caribbean
Penfold, Peter A., Hemisphere
To the Latin American drug trafficker, the Caribbean represents just one entity through which the merchandise can pass to reach the lucrative markets of the United States and Europe. The drug trafficker ignores--but at the same time exploits--the region's territorial boundaries and national differences. By using various routes through different Caribbean countries, the drug trafficker spreads the risk of detection. Meanwhile, due to the local spillover effect of the drug trade, the drug trafficker also spreads more widely throughout the region the problems associated with drugs.
The view held by most Caribbean states in the past was that drug trafficking was not their problem--it was a problem for the Latin American producer countries and the North American and European consumer countries. They, the Caribbean countries, just happened to be on the route through which the drugs passed. The traffickers, though, began to pay those who helped the flow of drugs through the Caribbean in kind as well as in cash; a local demand was created, drug abuse and drug-related crime increased, and governments came to realize that drug trafficking was in fact a problem. Some countries, often with outside assistance particularly, from the United States and Britain, took measures to counter the flow of drugs. The traffickers, however, continued to exploit the weakest links in the chain of efforts to curtail the trade, whilst many of the small island states continued to turn a blind eye, either to benefit from the boost to their economies from the injection of drug money, or because they felt powerless to act individually against the vast resources available to the drug traffickers.
Attempts by the countries of the Caribbean to come together and to cooperate more closely have generally met limited success--even with common language groups. Cross-language cooperation (e.g., English/Spanish) has been virtually nonexistent. A regional approach offers the only effective way to fight the drug problem in the Caribbean. The region abounds with …
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Article title: The European Connection: A Regional Approach to Fighting Drugs in the Caribbean. Contributors: Penfold, Peter A. - Author. Journal title: Hemisphere. Volume: 7. Issue: 3 Publication date: Spring 1997. Page number: 42+. © 1999 Latin American and Caribbean Center. COPYRIGHT 1997 Gale Group.
This material is protected by copyright and, with the exception of fair use, may not be further copied, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means.