Covid-19 Didn’t Change the Homicide Terrain of St Lucia

In 2019 the St Lucia murder rate per 100,000 persons was 26.80 and in 2020 it accelerated to 30.49 which indicated that realities of the illicit trades continued impacting St Lucia’s illicit trade and its gangland deeply destabilizing an old order based on the Colombian model on its way out. From all indications the trend continues in 2021 as the Colombian model crumbles under the pressure of the business model of the MTTOs. The first reality to be appreciated is the fact that the volume of the trades in the Caribbean exploded under the lockdowns of Covid-19 heading to Europe. The volumes of product moving Northwards and then across the Atlantic along the ECTP impacted St Lucia in a specific way as only affiliates of the MTTOs had access to this product. Those outside of this closed circle had to find product from the Colombian paramilitary Capos not affiliated to the MTTOs. The long standing trade between St Lucia, Martinique and Guadeloupe was also disrupted as the ECTP flowed directly into these French overseas departments with those not affiliated to the MTTOs in these islands squeezed out of MTTOs supply. The issue then is supply between the haves and have nots, the gun violence that follows.triggering tit for tat violence. There are now new overlords of the trade in Martinique and Guadeloupe as transnational organized crime groups affiliated to the MTTOs have moved along the dual flow pipeline between France and its overseas departments to control the trades. Moroccan transnational organised crime affiliated to the MTTOs dominate hashish and small arms smuggled from France and are now dominating the cocaine pipelines to France. They bought influence by trading hashish for cocaine and guns but now they control the cocaine, hashish and gun trades passing product to their structure of affiliates in Caribbean gangland. The old St Lucia dual flow pipeline to Martinique especially is now facing extinction and in its death throes the violence in St Lucia is magnified and is also apparent in Martinique. The violence in gangland St Lucia will continue until such time the MTTOs decide that St Lucia is a strategic asset worthy of intervening and enforcing their order on the trades and gangland as they did in T&T in 2020 at the height of the pandemic. If not then then the reality continues.

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