Caribbean illicit drug trafficking 2015: The US blinks

The explosion in the trafficking of illicit drugs to the US from the Caribbean especially from the US Caribbean territories of Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands has resulted in the creation and publication of the Caribbean Border Counternarcotics Strategy. The alarm bells long going off have now resulted in political action. The US has now recognised the pressing need to undertake for the first time in its policing of its territory need to engage with a narco-trafficking economy and social order in an illicit drug transition zone which happens to be its territory. The strategy outlined in the document certainly does not speak to broken windows policing but to hard core engagement with the aim to dismantle trafficking organisations. The minister of national insecurity of T&T should note this and learn from this reality as I advised in an earlier blog. The document has some glaring gaps in its perception of the trafficking reality of the Caribbean and the central importance of gangland in the Puerto Rican context which must be addressed. Click on the link to access the document.

The official US document names cocaine as the major illicit drug threat being moved through the Caribbean to the US but heroin is also named. Heroin is now increasingly being moved through the Caribbean to the eastern seaboard of the US. The Mexican cartels especially the Sinaloa Federation has a logistics problem to supply the booming, high retail demand for heroin in the north-east US drug markets. When product is crossed from Mexico to the US via the border crossings it has then to be transported from Texas, Arizona etc to say New York. Why depend on this pipeline when you can send the heroin via the Caribbean to the north-east US drug markets? In the 1990s a heroin pipeline which moved product from T&T to Puerto Rico and the US was operational in T&T and was never dismantled by the T&T national security agencies. Non T&T operatives were extradited to the US and that was it. Understand now the interest in T&T exhibited by the Mexican cartels, Cocaine in the US is a sunset product whilst there is now a spreading heroin demand boom as a result of the crackdown on the availability of opiate based pain killers as oxycontin and oxycodone. A kilo of Mexican heroin on wholesale markets sells for USD 50,000 depending on the drug market as in the north-east US the price rises. There is no need to move heroin from the Caribbean to the US via multi-tonne shipments given the value of the product. This is then a product that yields fast wealth accumulation to small traffickers who are affiliates of Mexican cartels. The ideal product for the Caribbean gangland affiliates of the Mexican cartels. To this end click on the link and experience the news story of the heroin interdiction in Belize, a member of CARICOM. Note the quantity, calculate the US wholesale value and visualise this shipment fed into a Caribbean pipeline to the US unlike the speculation of the news report. Never forget and learn from my reality: the wages of my expertise is vagrancy.

February 14, 2015 US ICE reported the interdiction of a mother ship feeding a smaller craft charged with moving illicit product to the coast of Puerto Rico. As the US devotes assets to impacting the illicit drug trade into Puerto Rico trafficking methodologies commonly used in the Caribbean basin will be highlighted the latest being the “mothership connection”. What must be noted is the use of this method from Venezuela up the Caribbean island chain, its use to traffick other illicit products as small arms and the fact that it has gone on for some time without interdiction reported in the Caribbean island chain. US engagement with the illicit trade into Puerto Rico will then highlight realities that US agencies never placed in the public domain previously as the US for the first time engages with an illicit trafficking economy in the Caribbean basin. Learn the lessons well!

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