Monthly Archives: March 2017

Race and Serious Crime in Trinidad and Tobago

The Reality and the Discourses of racist hate!

The Trinidad and Tobago 2011 Population and Housing Census, Demographic Report (1) states that in 2011 the population of Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) was 1,328,019 persons with East Indian being 35.4% of the population, African 34.2% of the population, Mixed 22.8% of the population and other ethnic groups being 1.4% of the population. This 1.4% of population was enumerated as follows: Caucasian 0.59%, Chinese 0.30%, Indigenous 0.11%, Syrian-Lebanese 0.08% and Other 0.17%. Amongst respondents 6.22% did not state their ethnic group.

An analysis of the statistics generated by the T&T Police Service on the race of victims and offenders for the following serious crimes: Murder, Sexual Offences, Robbery, Kidnapping, Wounding/Shooting and for offenders only for the serious crime of Possession of Narcotics for Trafficking will reveal the dynamics of race and crime amongst victims and the perpetrators. The nature of this dynamic will throw light on the social order of T&T especially on the power relations of the social order, how they impact the races and the process by which the perceptions and worldview of individuals are constituted.

The total number of victims reported for the period 2012-2016 was: 12,758 and on the basis of the race of victim the rankings were: (1) Africans 49.69% (6,340) of the total, (2) East Indians were 27.01% (3,447), (3) Mixed 17.29% (2,206), (4) Chinese 1.26% (161), (5) Caucasian 0.58% (75), (6) Spanish (40), Japanese (1) and not Stated 3.82% (488). Where the TT Police Service statistics match those of the 2011 Census it is clearly evident that the second largest race in T&T, African, is way overrepresented in the crime victims profile of T&T for the period under study. Africans comprised 34.2% of the population in 2011 but accounted for 49.69% of crime victims for the period whilst East Indians comprised 35.4% of the population in 2011 but accounted for 27.01% of crime victims for the period. The Mixed grouping comprised 22.8% of the population in 2011 but accounted for 17.29% of crime victims for the period. For the three major race groups Africans are the most predominant victims of crime with the Mixed group showing a higher propensity to be victimised compared to East Indians with the East Indians having the lowest propensity as they are the largest race group in the national population. Grave questions then arise from this reality! One other race group indicates that their crime victim percentage outstrips their percentage of national population according to the 2011 census. The Chinese with 1.26% (161) of total victims for the period with a population of 0.30% of national population. The Caucasian group with 0.58% (75) of victims for the period with a population size of 0.59% was nearly on par for the period. Analysis of the crime victims profile by race and crime type will show the differences in the profile of these two minority race groups with Africans.

Crime Victims by Race and Crime Type


For the period there were 859 murders with 81.25% (698) of victims being African, 12.68 % (109) were East Indian, 5.70% were Mixed (49), 0.11 (1) Caucasian, 0.11% (1) Japanese and 0.11% (1) Chinese. For the period Africans were murdered at the rate of over twice their percentage of national population. The number of African murder victims not only surpassed their percentage of national population it was in fact overdetermined given the position of Africans in the social order. The largest race group the East Indian was a far second to the African and the Mixed ranked third.

Sexual Offences

For the period 2,798 sexual offences were recorded with Africans being 47.99% (1,343) of victims, 22.80% (632) Mixed, 22.58% (628) East Indian, 0.10% (3) Spanish, Caucasian 0.07% (2) and Not stated 6.46% (48). For this serious crime Africans again are the largest contributors of victims which outstrip their percentage of national population which means that Africans are overrepresented in the category of victims of sex crimes. The mixed race grouping and the East Indian grouping are practically neck and neck in victims but the East Indian grouping is the largest race grouping in the society. In fact, the percentage of victims of the Mixed grouping is on par with its percentage of national population.


For the period 7,305 robbery victims were recorded for the period with Africans being 43.06% (3,146) of victims, next were East Indians with 32.96% (2,408), then Mixed with 16.90% (1235), Chinese 2.14% (157), Caucasian 0.97% (71), Spanish 0.92% (34) and Not stated 1.14% (254). Again the African group is the largest single contributor of victims and overrepresented in the crime category whilst the robbery rate against the Chinese outstripped their percentage of the population as did the Caucasian group. One can posit that the presence of the Chinese and the Caucasian groups in these categories is as a result of their comparative wealth advantage compared to other race groups. If this was the only operative rationale in this crime type, why then are Africans in the apex position of victims in this crime category?


There was a total of 362 kidnapping victims for the period with African victims accounting for 46.13% (167) of victims followed by East Indians with 30.11% (109) then Mixed with 19.88% (72), Chinese 0.55% (2), Caucasian 0.27% (1), Spanish 0.27% (1) and Not stated 2.76% (10). Again Africans are the highest number of victims with their percentage of victims outstripping their percentage of national population. This is a trend that illustrates a specific reality of the social order that deals with perception, worldview and human action choices and the collapse of hegemonic social control. The Chinese is the next group where the percentage of victims in this crime type surpasses their percentage of national population. Apparently the choice of victims is not determined by the wealth of the victims and their families on a comparative basis.

Wounding/Shooting Victims

For the period of the study there was a total of 1,434 wounding/shooting with Africans being 68.75% (986) of victims followed by the Mixed group with 14.78% (212) of victims, next East Indians with 13.17% (189), Spanish 0.13% (2), Chinese 0.06% (1), Caucasian 0 with Not stated 3.06% (44). In this final serious crime type the trend continues of Africans being the apex victim of serious crime in T&T with the overwhelming victims of the flood of illicit small arms in T&T being Africans. With over 68% of victims of wounding/shooting for the period being African it points to the level of violence especially gun violence that on a daily basis impacts the safety, security and development of Africans and African communities in T&T.

This level of victimhood amounts to daily life in a war zone with all its adverse effects on the quality of human life across generations. The survival mechanisms that humans create in war zones reflect the interplay between perceptions of threats and the human action choices visualised and made. In war zones human choices made can contribute to intensifying the problem that is why effective, relevant intervention is crucially necessary by the state.

The percentage of African victims of serious crime way outstrips the percentage of the Africans of the national population which means that Africans as a race are overrepresented in the ranks of the victims of serious crime in T&T. The rate of African victimhood over the years is now contributing to the ongoing cycle of violence as the trauma and assault on family stability that flows from such high levels of victimisation drives the search for safety, stability, coping with trauma and vengeance. One coping mechanism available to those victimised directly or indirectly is the thug/gangsta life or the Life. The Life offers instruments and institutions towards realising the quest for the coping mechanism and the overarching coping structure with its own hegemonic discourse, power relations and power elite. The Life exercises hegemony over spaces, humans and worldviews as a result of the failure of the state to address the endemic violence, victimisation and to fill the need for licit coping mechanisms that challenge effectively the unrelenting quest of the Life for hegemony. The state, the ruling politicians and the agencies of the state under the control of the ruling politicians have all failed miserably. As a result, the violence now has a momentum of its own with a rhyme and reason of its own and the state and the politicians are powerless to break the cycle hence the resort to blaming the victims. The politics of race in T&T spawn arrogant politicians who simply don’t pay the political price for their failure to ensure the safety, peace and stability of their electoral base.

Race and the Perpetrators of Serious Crime

The reality of race and victims of crime must now be linked to the reality of race and perpetrators of crime to create the complete landscape of crime minus the choice of human action made and the range of possible reasons for the choices made.


For the period there was a total of 270 perpetrators of murder recorded which illustrates the low detection rate. Africans accounted for 77.40% (209) of perpetrators, East Indians 16.66% (45) and the Mixed group 5.72% (16). Africans were then the largest single group of murder perpetrators with a rate that far outstrips their percentage of national population. Africans are overrepresented as perpetrators in this crime type.

Sexual Offences

For the period there were 929 perpetrators of sexual offences with Africans accounting for 54.57% (507) of perpetrators followed by East Indians with 22.28% (207) then the Mixed group with 17% (158) and finally Spanish 0.96% (9). The Not Stated was 5.16% (48). The trend of the race of perpetrators is mirroring that of the trend of Africans being the apex victim.

Possession of Narcotics for Trafficking

A total of 1,282 persons were listed as perpetrators of this crime type with Africans being 51.56% (661) of perpetrators followed by East Indians 23.55% (302) then the Mixed group 21.13% (271). Next was Caucasian 0.62% (8) then Spanish 0.54% (7) with Not Stated 5.16% (33). In keeping with the trend Africans are the dominant perpetrators of this serious crime and Caucasian having a level of perpetrators that exceeds their percentage of national population. The Mixed group had a perpetrator level very close to its percentage of national population whilst the East Indian has a perpetrator level well below its percentage of national population.


There was a total of 2,699 perpetrators of robbery for the period. Africans accounted for 68.61% (1,852), Mixed 16.85% (455), East Indian 12.18% (329), Spanish 0.92% (25), Caucasian 0.03 (1) and Not Stated 1.13% (31). Another instance where perpetrators from the African population dominate this crime type and are overrepresented as a race group. The Mixed group was the second largest group of perpetrators in this crime type.


A total of 201 perpetrators for the period was recorded. The African group was the overwhelming, dominant group for this crime with 60.69% (122) next was East Indian 18.90% (38), then Mixed 15.92% (32), Spanish 0.48% (1) with Not Stated 3.98% (8). There were no Caucasian and Chinese perpetrators for this crime type. Another instance of the trend of African dominance of perpetrators and another crime type where the Mixed group when their percentage of the national population is factored in are the second place group of perpetrators by race.


The total number of perpetrators for the period was 459. The African group accounted for 65.64% (300) followed by the Mixed group 18.16% (83) which was followed by East Indian 13.78 (63), Spanish 0.47% (1) and Not stated 1.98% (9). There were no perpetrators for the Caucasian and Chinese groups. Yet another instance where the African group dominated the perpetrator profile of a crime type way in excess of its percentage of national population resulting in the African group being overrepresented in the perpetrator profile of this crime type. The Mixed group is the second placed group in the perpetrator profile of this crime type.

The essential reality is now depicted the crux of the matter is now to understand the dynamics of this reality and offer attempts at explanation that are derived from reality on the ground not from the manufactured reality of the politicians, the state agencies and the ass kissing academics in their quest for fat research grants and consultancies.

It’s clearly apparent to anyone who understands the evolution of the illicit drug trade of T&T and its impact on people, families, communities and the legitimacy of the state that the reality depicted by the crime statistics is predominantly the product of the illicit trades and the impunity it wields over vast stretches of the human geography of Trinidad where large segments of the African and Mixed populations live. This hegemony has constituted a worldview, a Life, a range of choice and chosen human action with its attendant body of perceptions. This is now the basis of recruitment to the Life as one can be external of the economy of the Life but you view the world and act in the world in keeping with the norms and values of the Life. This is best seen in the school age population. The violence is now endemic but that doesn’t mean that the violence is as a result of conflict within the economy of the Life. The violence flows from the order of the Life and it impacts negatively the economy of the Life as it’s bad for business but the hands of the oligarchy/rankers of the Life are also tied. The Frankenstein monster created by political failure is now out of control.

Victims and Perpetrators

For the period there was a total of 12,758 victims of the serious crimes listed juxtaposed against a total of 5,838 perpetrators of serious crimes listed. There were 6,340 victims, 49.69% of total victims, of the African group and 3,651 perpetrators, 62.53% of total perpetrators, of the African group. It is apparent that the perpetrators of the African group are the dominant perpetrators of serious crime against the African group i.e. African on African crime. There were 3,447 victims, 27.01% of the total victims, of the East Indian group and 984 perpetrators, 16.85% of the total perpetrators, of the East Indian group. There were 2,206 victims, 17.29% of the total victims, of the Mixed group and 1,015 perpetrators, 17.38% of the total perpetrators, of the Mixed group. There were 75 Caucasian victims, 0.58% of total victims, and 9 Caucasian perpetrators, 0.15% of total perpetrators. There were 161 Chinese victims, 1.26% of total victims and 0 Chinese perpetrators making the Chinese the quintessential victims of crime in T&T. There were 40 Spanish victims, 0.31% of total victims, and 44 Spanish perpetrators, 0.75% of total perpetrators. There was 1 Japanese victim with no Japanese perpetrator/s. There were 488 victims, 3.82% of total victims, where their race was Not Stated and 173 perpetrators, 2.96% of total perpetrators where their race was Not Stated.

The perpetrators from the African group are then responsible for the largest single bloc of serious crime perpetrated against Africans. The Mixed group has the second largest group of perpetrators and is engaged in the trend as the African group which will saturate this group given its smaller percentage of the national population. The East Indian group whilst in third place is showing signs of waking up in specific crime types which indicates and affirms the change underway on the ground and the nature of the future that is unfolding.

The Explanations

The explanations circulating in the public domain since the 1990s view Afro Trinbagonians through a racist, hegemonist discourse whether the talking heads are Africans or not.

One strain views the African as subhuman with a propensity to violence, criminal activity and engaged in a strategy to cleanse T&T of non-African races. Crime perpetrated by Africans against non-African races of T&T is the means to dominate the race structure of T&T with graphic violence. East Indians, Caucasians and the Chinese are the strategic targets of this African criminal onslaught. All evidence presented to show that Africans are predominantly victimising Africans means nothing to this racist agenda in fact it’s perfectly acceptable and strategic in the quest for racist hegemony. This discourse insists that Africans in T&T are criminogenic therefore unfit to exercise power so it must be exercised on Africans by non-Africans.

The dominant discourse in the public domain is articulated by Africans which posits without evidence that the breakdown of African families, values and communities is pushing predominantly African males into criminality. But this is a lower class, at risk individuals and single parent family phenomenon as middle class Africans are not showing this propensity to criminality. As a result of this discourse entire swaths of urban communities where Africans are the dominant race are now at risk communities with at risk individuals which then become crime “hot spots” because of the gang problem. This discourse and its African by DNA only articulators is insisting that lower class, urban Africans are in fact criminogenic and this discourse is used to justify a slew of policing methods which doesn’t challenge the power of the bad boys over the urban space. This discourse only alienates, breeds fear, powerlessness, anger and rage, to the point of grown men reduced to tears in public when speaking of the manner in which the police deal with them on a daily basis, amongst the residents who want a new life free of the bad boys and colonial policing. But the Africans by DNA only insist that the victims are to blame because we don’t inform but we know by experience the wages of informing is DEATH! The victims are blamed for their victimisation another powerful indicator that the discourse is racist as it views Africans as incapable of disciplined adherence to western norms and values unlike the DNA only Africans and for this intransigence they will be punished.

The salient question remains unanswered which is: what development/s ONLY in the daily life of the African dominated urban communities resulted in the reality where Africans are the overwhelming victims and perpetrators of serious crime in T&T? These developments impacted only the African urban communities to such an extent and not those of the other race groups to a similar extent to create this crime reality. The only relevant reality was commencing in the second half of the 1960’s the strategy to create along the East-West Corridor of Trinidad a wholesale/retail illicit drug market not owned and controlled by Africans that targeted urban Africans as their major consumers in T&T (2). This market has blossomed and evolved with the failure of the politicians and the state agencies to restrict its development and in its wake it has created its own order of the Life as an alternate worldview, economy and lifestyle to that of the licit life. The targeted consumer race has now evolved into the race from which the majority of victims and perpetrators are drawn but do they control the economy of the Life today?

Humans in T&T are now forced to live in contested spaces where the Life is engaged with licit life for hegemony and humans must learn to survive, to devise survival strategies, perceptions and ranges of human choice actions in these spaces.  They must be able then to traverse and function in multiple worlds and that is a grave burden to bear and not all humans are able to master the skills necessary. They then surrender, they go left, they go mental, they seek to internally and externally migrate, they accept the cycle of incarceration as a way of life, they die. Survival can then demand living in shades of grey as you travel from one life to the next and back where licit and illicit blend into a continuum of shades of grey. These skilled shades of grey walkers present the most talented of this world created by contested spaces and the creation destined to challenge all structures they insist are fetters on their development and the birth of the new order of the haters. The skilled shades of grey walkers are assets of the illicit, licit and the worlds of grey and the purveyors of an alternate order. The power of the product of contested spaces is apparent in society as especially young males of the middle class utilise a parody of the Life to define their manhood where they are gangsta but never did time in remand or in the Grove. The contested spaces of the middle class locales and the gated communities is but another reality as is the spread of the model that targeted Africans to the Indian communities in order to deepen the retail market and finally the expansion of the Mixed group as a contributor of victims and perpetrators following in the footsteps of the African group. The Indian group will follow the path sooner than later of the African and Mixed race groups. In this profile of race and serious crime in T&T the minority races are the saints and angels on earth of the population which feeds the racist discourse of race minority victimisation and predatory Africans. Does this statistical depiction of reality flow with the reality on the ground?

The endemic violence is driven by the tsunami of illicit small arms that continues to flood T&T since the decade of the 1990s. The availability of affordable illicit guns has changed forever the nature of conflict and its resolution in the social order of T&T. The evolved conflict demands violent engagement regardless of outcomes and state sanctions as jail and prison denotes rank in the Life. The evolved conflict has a very low threshold for violence as tolerance and forgiveness in the course of human interaction denotes weakness and loss of rank. This evolved conflict has then heightened the demand for guns, shooters, assassins, victims and violence. The response of successive governments is to fill the prisons and constipate the judicial system but the illicit trades grow in value, scale and expanse and conflict evolves to even further levels of anarchic violence. This anarchic violence has now delegitimised the state and its agencies and the failure of the politicians to respond effectively and sustainably to the challenge has delegitimised the licit order. T&T is then showing all the characteristics of the Mexican model.


  2. Daurius Figueira: “Cocaine and Heroin Trafficking in the Caribbean the case of Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica and Guyana”


The 4,240 kilo Bust north of Suriname in Context

The 4,240 kilo Drug Bust in the Atlantic north of Suriname in Context


Lady Michelle (NCA)

The interdiction of the fishing vessel “Lady Michelle” in international waters of the Atlantic north of Suriname with 4.2 tons of cocaine on board by a US Coast Guard cutter supported by a vessel from the T&T Coast Guard on February 16, 2017 is but another illustration of the reality on the ground that politicians don’t speak about. The online news report from the US Coast Guard News, February 27, 2017 stated that the US DEA St Croix was the lead investigative agency in the case which explains why the four Guyanese nationals arrested on board the Lady Michelle were dropped off in St Croix in the hands of US Federal authorities there. The Lady Michelle was registered in St Vincent which explains why it was towed by the US vessel and placed in the hands of the Coast Guard of St Vincent. The 4.2 tons of cocaine valued at USD 125 million at wholesale value was offloaded at US Coast Guard, San Juan, Puerto Rico. Finally, US Coast Guard news reported that the National Crime Agency (NCA) of the UK was involved in the operation.

The NCA in an online press release of 28 February 2017 stated that it was 4,240 kilos of cocaine in 185 bales seized from the Lady Michelle or 4.2 tonnes not 4.2 tons as in the Us Coast Guard news report with a wholesale value in Britain of 150 million UK Pounds. More importantly the NCA insisted that the load of the Lady Michelle was headed to West Africa. This position points to an operational reality involving the Caribbean island chain, the Caribbean Basin and the Atlantic that has a range of impacts on the nation states in these regions just another gift from Pax Mexicana!

A Guyana Chronicle online report dated March 1, 2017 stated that prior to the interdiction of the Lady Michelle the Guyanese authorities were tracking another vessel in Guyanese waters off the Corentyne coast moving north which they interdicted in the vicinity of Shell beach, brought into the Waini River searched and release with its crew of one Guyanese national and five Spanish speaking foreign nationals. There is the view that the vessel intercepted in the vicinity of Shell beach, Guyana delivered the cargo of 4,240 kilos of cocaine to the Lady Michelle and the Guyanese authorities failed to detect and interdict the Lady Michelle. The report stated that the then head of CANU indicated that there were no records to show that the Lady Michelle left Guyana prior to its interdiction or has been in Guyana since 2015 non-elected political discourse at its best. The report names the four arrested and charged Guyanese with the captain of the 70-foot fishing vessel Lady Michelle being also Guyanese. This was a transnational illicit trafficking operation utilising Guyanese personnel and Caribbean resources.

Can the 70-foot Lady Michelle make the run to a point off the coast of West Africa where the load will be handed over to transporters whose task is to make the run to the coastline, land the shipment, transport, warehouse and guard? Yes! The major issue is fuel and the best deal possible is to stock up on fuel in Trinidad as Venezuela is now dicey even for the transnational traffickers on the ground as trust and integrity is a precious commodity. If you choose to run along the Eastern Caribbean Trafficking Pipeline (ECTP) before heading eastwards then you can top up at a fuel dump within the ECTP but to do this with impunity you must be connected, you must be a sanctioned trafficker if not then the DEA and the NCA can and will miraculously receive vital information on your shipment life’s a bitch in a US Federal facility where gangland affiliates of Pax Mexicana are in there with you 24/7, 365 days for every year of your time served. Pax Mexicana! The reality we will never know is the capacity of the Lady Michelle to store fuel given the cargo of 185 bales of kilo bricks. If the capacity doesn’t exist in the fuel tanks, then barrels of fuel will have to be placed on deck and everywhere else and this is a dead giveaway for surveillance agencies. Was the Lady Michelle headed to the coast of West Africa or was to several possible drop off points on the coast of Western and southern Africa? In the traditional West African zone, you have Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Senegal and Nigeria as some of the dominant spots but out of this zone there is now Angola as a growing reception point and the mother of all reception points is South Africa. There is also the possibility of a run northwards along the ECTP then an eastward run to the coast of West Africa then a northwards run to a rendezvous point with the transporters in international waters off the Canary Islands where the load is deposited within the boundaries of the EU. But the crucial issue is what is coming across the Atlantic via the pipeline to the Caribbean island chain and the Caribbean basin? As the loads cross the Atlantic from the Caribbean to Western Africa are the transports sunk upon completion of the run, redeployed in African markets or are a select few loaded with product for the return run? If so what, then is the product mix?

A DEA press release of January 21, 2017 reported on the extradition of individuals who are nationals of Kenya, Pakistan and India from Kenya to the US on indictment for conspiracy to smuggle heroin and methamphetamine to the US via a transnational illicit trafficking organisation. The meth is manufactured in Kenya and the heroin is sourced from Afghanistan thereby completing the product mix which is moved from Africa to world markets with the US market being a prime target. The four extradited from Kenya are: Baktash Akasha Kenyan national, resident of Kenya and head of the Akasha organisation/crime family, Ibrahim Akasha brother of Baktash Kenyan national and resident of Kenya, Goswami Indian national and resident of Kenya manager of the drug business of the crime family namely the production and distribution of methamphetamine in Kenya and the procurement and distribution of heroin from Afghanistan and Hussein national of Pakistan and resident of Pakistan a transporter of heroin by sea to various markets including Africa. The pairing of meth production with heroin smuggling must be noted given the willingness of the crime family to smuggle this product mix from Africa to US markets. The Mexican TTOs dominate the US heroin and meth markets at present and a crime family in east Africa seeking to challenge the Mexican monopoly must either be an affiliate of the MTTOs or face the fury that awaits those who choose to challenge this Mexican hegemony. Possibly the reason for the extraditions and incarceration in a US federal penitentiary system dominated by affiliates of the Mexican TTOs. The combination of meth and Afghan heroin indicates that this is the product mix of a Mexican affiliate who is moving this product mix to Europe. Already the Nigerian transnational trafficking organisations have combined meth with cocaine and heroin for the European markets and the MTTOs have passed the technology on to Nigerian and other African organised crime groups necessary to produce industrial grade ice/meth. The lesson then is Afghan heroin moving from Africa through the Caribbean island chain and the Caribbean basin on the way to US and Canadian markets. On these transports from Africa there is no need to move multi tonne loads of heroin given the wholesale market value of heroin in the US and Canadian markets. A very large shipment will be 200 kilos of heroin as quantities 20 kilos to 100 kilos are extremely profitable. There is also the space to maximise profitability by placing smuggled humans on the vessel who are paying prime prices for extremely discreet illicit entry to the island chain and/or the Caribbean basin. Think about the possible and probable range of such clients for the illicit service!

The UNODC report “Afghanistan Synthetic Drugs Situation Assessment” January 2017 states that methamphetamine manufacturing facilities are now operational in Afghanistan and the synthetic drug is growing in availability on Afghan retail drug markets where it is being adopted by opiate users. Afghanistan is now in the grips of an evolving drug supply market where supply will beget demand. Again the growing link between the top illicit opiate producer and exporter in the world and a synthetic drug which is the flagship product of the MTTOs and experts on the production of industrial grade high potency affordable glass/ice/meth. The flood of high potency affordable heroin to US drug markets and the explosion of demand demands that the MTTOs form links and create affiliates with Afghan producers and traffickers of opium paste, opium and heroin. The business model and strategic plan demands no less.

The illicit trades of South Asia are now linked to Africa and Africa is linked to the Caribbean basin which results in the linking of South Asia to the Caribbean island chain, the Caribbean basin and South America as this link is even more potent and voluminous in the case of Brazil. Illicit products from Africa to the Caribbean island chain across the Atlantic will utilise the same said trafficking points to enter the North Atlantic used in cocaine trafficking. In the Caribbean the smuggling of heroin to the US is affirmed by interdictions and the presence of crystal meth on the ground is reported as follows: A news report dated August 15, 2016 reported the interdiction of a heroin smuggler who arrived in Puerto Rico on an airline flight from the Dominican Republic, a news report dated August 18, 2016 reported the arrest for possession of crystal meth in Guyana and a news report dated September 30, 2016 reported on the threat posed by the trafficking of heroin and fentanyl from the Dominican Republic to the US. Heroin trafficking through the Caribbean island chain is then an established illicit enterprise with its pipelines into which the flows from Africa enter.

The Caribbean island chain, the Caribbean basin and Brazil are now poised to be impacted by the tsunami that is created in South Asia builds momentum in Africa, crosses the Atlantic and finally swamps the region. The transition zone for two flows of illicit products that are complementary to each other and controlled by the same transnational trafficking organisations with their partners and affiliates will pose the gravest threat to state survival ever experienced in their history both colonial and ex-colonial. Already the escalating gun violence in states that compromise the ECTP is the potent indicator of the changed order of the illicit trades and the explosion of value of the illicit trades: illicit poly drug movement, regional and international people smuggling operations, expansion and deepening of the product mix of small arms smuggling and the inclusion of a host of other illicit activities as fake pharmaceuticals, fake goods, ATM card skimming and payment card skimming and fraud. This is the legacy of Pax Mexicana!

The Alternate Reality

It is highly likely that the Lady Michelle with its illicit load was on its way up the ECTP to rendezvous with coast runners to supply product for eventual export via EU territories in the Eastern and Northern Caribbean to the EU namely the French, British and Dutch territories as Martinique, Guadeloupe, St Martin, Sint Maarten, St Eustatius, the British Virgin Islands, the US territories of Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands and the independent Caribbean states as Barbados, St Lucia and Antigua and Barbuda. The level of illicit activity within the ECTP is indicated by the nature of the interdictions reported, the staging of naval and military assets however inadequate to counter the trafficking threat and the action by the French government to ratify an extradition agreement with St Lucia and to enter into negotiations with the Commonwealth of Dominica for an extradition agreement in response to illicit trafficking between St Lucia and Dominica and Martinique and Guadeloupe respectively. The most illustrative instance of the intensity of the illicit activity within the ECTP was the assault on the hospital in Martinique by three armed men in December 2016 to ensure the escape from custody of the convicted international trafficker Walter Perez Caruso of Uruguay. This level of illicit activity is then reason enough to send the Lady Michelle loaded with 4, 240 kilos of cocaine up the ECTP which constitutes a grave threat to US and EU interests and it is now clearly apparent that the failure to respond to the threat posed by the illicit trades in the ECTP has fostered their evolution into a world class trafficking pipeline that is the ECTP. This reality is affirmed by the US committing two named naval and other unnamed assets to interdict the Lady Michelle as far south as the Atlantic coast of the north of South America. This is no operation Martillo, this is no Pacific operational theatre, this is not the fence of steel erected around Puerto Rico and the USVI. This is an operation to the furthest reaches of the theatre of possible operations necessary to protect US territories in the Caribbean island chain to boldly go where they have not gone since the decade of the 1990s now this expresses the gravity of the crisis exacerbated by the political paranoia generated by the new Trump war to destroy IS and T&Ts propensity to export migrants to IS. The links below will illustrate the intensity of the illicit trafficking in the ECTP presently:

The US has then to in light of the reality of the threat posed by the ECTP now to expend its own resources in an ever growing theatre of operations. A theatre of operations that demands much more assets presently deployed by the US. But what about the partnership with those states impacted by the present reality of the ECTP other than the US? Where is the commitment of the French, British and the Dutch that matches the nature and reality of the threat? Seen in light of the EMCDDA report on EU drug markets listed below. Where is the adequate commitment of CARICOM member states impacted by the ECTP?

The geopolitics of the drug bust

Based on the news releases from the US Coast Guard and the NCA of the UK this was a US operation where the DEA and by extension the US Department of Justice will prosecute in Federal court in St Croix charges laid against the four Guyanese crew members of the Lady Michelle. No member CARICOM state received the cocaine nor the crew members for prosecution under their laws by their courts and prosecutorial system. The vessel was handed over to the Coast Guard of St Vincent as it was registered in St Vincent. The releases stated that the DEA and the NCA collected the intelligence that drove the interdiction no other is mentioned. Trinidad and Tobago is mentioned as supplying a naval vessel that provided back up to the US Coast Guard vessel. This US vessel stalked, intercepted and interdicted the cocaine and the crew. The seized cocaine and the arrested crew were placed on the US vessel and the US vessel towed the Lady Michelle until relieved by another US Coast Guard vessel. The two US vessels handed over the seized vessel to St Vincent, carried the seized cocaine to Puerto Rico and the other handed over the arrested crew members to the DEA in St Croix. Clearly the US has engaged the government of T&T to put its assets where its public mouth is and the T&T government has to comply. Because in Trump’s new war on Islamic State the US must engage with T&T and the T&T government must now seek to determine the new terms of endearment Trump demands. In this quest we can then take a “supportive”/BITCH role in the bust whilst its business as usual in T&T as the core question remains the issue of TRUST. What is the murder toll at the time of writing?



Cocaine load of Lady Michelle (NCA)