St Lucia 2017: The Escalating Murder Rate

Gun Violence in St Lucia 2017: The Ravages of the Eastern Caribbean Trafficking Pipeline (ECCTP)

In 2012 the murder rate of St Lucia was 21.6 with 39 murders. In 2014 there were 29 murders with a rate of 16.43 whilst in 2015 there were 28 murders for a rate of 15.80. Murders declined from 2011 to 2015 with the lowest number of murders in 2015 since 2007. In 2016 the rate rose to 17.41 and as at November 1, 2017 the rate was 26.90 making 2017 a bumper year for homicides breaking the trend of rapid decline from 2011 to 2015.

The reality is that the equilibrium attained on the supply side of the St Lucia drug market in the period 2011 to 2015 began unravelling in 2016 creating a supply side war in 2017. The supply side of the St Lucia drug market comprises product transitioned through St Lucia for export to the EU and the US, product transitioned through St Lucia for smuggling to Martinique and Guadeloupe and product for local consumption. The grave changes in supply have impacted the ganja markets and the pipeline from St Lucia to Martinique and Guadeloupe. With the creation and evolution of the ECTP a direct flow of product has been established to Martinique and Guadeloupe thereby bypassing St Lucia this comprises cocaine, ganja especially premium ganja, meth and ex. This has impacted and changed the power relations of the St Lucia to Martinique/Guadeloupe pipeline thereby displacing those who are not connected to a secure source of supply. Those operating the direct pipeline to Martinique/Guadeloupe are also exerting their power over the drug markets of these overseas French territories thereby by illustrating their hegemony. This has displaced operators with the blowback felt in St Lucia. The emphasis is now on premium ganja to Martinique/Guadeloupe and the EU this has reduced the volume of low grade ganja on the local market in St Lucia which has fed the ganja wars which are common throughout the Caribbean island chain today. There is a drive to fill the ganja supply void via imports from other sources and local production but the displacement in the supply and trafficking sides of the market will continue to drive the wars and the body count in the future. Without a steady and reliable source of supply your illicit business collapses and you resort to violence to remedy the shortfall. Such is the life.

Multiple supply side market displacements and restructuring is impacting St Lucia resulting in the rise in the number of murders and gun violence in 2017 to which must be added the response of law enforcement in Martinique and Guadeloupe to violent crimes perpetrated by St Lucians in both territories. St Lucians in both territories run the risk of now being policed selectively given the designation of being criminogenic. This will also impact the course and intensity of the wars in St Lucia as those in the life flee Martinique and Guadeloupe for St Lucia and seek to replicate their illicit enterprises in St Lucia.

The reality of gun violence and murder in St Lucia in 2017 is another expression of the impact of the ECTP on the Eastern Caribbean island chain as the social order evolves under the pressure of the dynamic unleashed by organised crime in the Caribbean island chain. Pax Mexicana!

As at November 9, 2017 the homicide count was 50.

January 3, 2018

The murder count for 2017 was 60. The St Lucia drug market is being impacted by the hashish especially Moroccan hashish imported from France to Martinique and available on the Martinique drug market. The value of this product and its supply structure has set in train a new variant of the ganja wars in the Caribbean. This is a product the value of which makes it worth dying for for those seeking supply.

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