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.


St Vincent and the Grenadines, Gun Crimes, Murder and the Eastern Caribbean Trafficking Pipeline (ECTP)

In 2016 St Vincent and the Grenadines (StV&G) recorded 40 murders for a murder rate of 36.482 which paints a picture in which gun violence is present and illustrated not only by the number of murders as a result of gun violence but also the number of shootings which did not result in death. The month of September 2017 was a particularly bloody month which spilled over into October 2017 but at a reduced pace. There were 9 murders in September with four persons surviving being shot with 7 persons killed in the final nine days of September. An analysis of the nine murders and shootings reveal the prosecution of a war on the ground for hegemony over the illicit economy of StV&G in which innocent bystanders are viewed as collateral damage. What is noteworthy is the willingness to shoot to death women gangland execution style and in the pursuit of their target to shoot women in the company of their target. One development in September 2017 that must be noted is the murder of a young female by a group of females in a home invasion of the victim’s family home murdering her in full view of her family. This is another murder that reeks of gangland modus operandi/styling and it’s a development that must be closely monitored in StV&G as it involved young females. What is noteworthy amongst the gangland shootings is the taking out of persons who were known break and enter and robbery artistes including those who recently exited the prison system. Usually this points to the possibility of taking what is not yours as a quantity of drugs, guns and cash etc. and the tit for tat killings roll out in gangland which provides the excuse for a power grab. In October 2017 the gunfire from 4 masked gunmen on the patrons of the Road Side Bar at Diamond resulted in 8 shot with one subsequent death as a result and 40 spent shells were recovered from the scene. From reports of the shootings and murder events the gunmen/shooters are all masked, they arrive on the scene in motor vehicles without number plates or they simply walk up to their targets do the job and walk away. The Diamond shootings were then a message sent to those who controlled the Diamond turf that it was now contested turf. The number of murders as at October 2017 at the time of writing was 33.

Prime Minister and Minister of National Security Dr Ralph Gonsalves in response to the Diamond shootings stated that there are 5 “associational groupings with criminal activity” in StV&G. The Prime Minister listed the operational bases of the associational groupings as follows: the electoral constituency of East St George, three in the Kingstown conurbation including the areas of Ottley Hall, Edinboro and Sharpes and in the South Leeward constituency. The Prime Minister stated that these 5 groups are in competition with each other in various spheres of activity and in the course of this battle for dominance these groups will contract foreign personnel to prosecute the war against their competitors. Prime Minister Gonsalves is then blaming the 5 organised crime groups of StV&G for the gun violence that has targeted those assets marked for elimination and the innocent bystanders who are the collateral damage of this war for hegemony. Prime Minister Gonsalves speaking on the issue of the illicit small arms and ammunition trade into StV&G stated that there are multiple points of origin of illicit arms entering StV&G but those he mentioned were: the USA, Colombia, Venezuela and Trinidad and Tobago. The Prime Minister’s position therefore raises the question of the volume of the trade and the capacity of the state to interdict the arms flow to the extent to impact the operational capacity of the 5 organised crime groups.

The reality of StV&G has to be placed in the context of the Eastern Caribbean Trafficking Pipeline (ECTP) and the special position of StV&G in this trafficking pipeline. The ECTP was created to move cocaine and heroin up the Eastern Caribbean island chain to Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands with an ancillary flow of cocaine into the French overseas departments and British colonies. Venezuela, Guyana and Suriname are the jump off transition zones of the pipeline with sea vessels being the dominant means of trafficking. All islands within the pipeline are then faced with an immediate and palpable increase in the volume of illicit drugs moved through their territory and more importantly exported from their territory to the EU, Canada and the USA.

St V&G is unique in the operational structure of this pipeline as it’s a premier production and export point for ganja both within the Caribbean and to the drug markets of the eastern seaboard of the US. Organic, high potency ganja presently fetches a wholesale price in these cities especially in New York which has created high grade organic ganja into a commodity worthy of fighting and dying over. Organic, high potency ganja grown in tropical, volcanic soil is then an apex/premier product of the pipeline attracting the level of investment by organised crime groups into production and trafficking that demands the hegemony of organised crime over the industry much more transnational globalised organised crime who are in fact the premier investors. These are the Caribbean affiliates of the Mexican Transnational Trafficking Organisations (MTTOs) who in joint action created and manage the ECTP.

The producers and traffickers of StV&G who are now affiliates of transnational organised crime groups that control the ECTP are traffickers of all the illicit products and participants of all the illicit enterprises of the pipeline. Such as trafficking cocaine, small arms, fuel and human smuggling in addition to ganja. Inclusion into the pipeline explodes the wealth generation capacity of the StV&G groups and impacts the terrain of the underworld in StV&G. The major issue is hegemony as the affiliates of transnational crime that control the pipeline must now exert hegemony over the underworld, gangland and The Game. Gangland affiliates are used to protect the interests of the pipeline on the ground and they share in the bounty of the pipeline turning them into transnational traffickers. This change impacts gangland as it creates glaring imbalances of wealth and power on the ground and those left out of the bounty react with a vengeful violence seen in the graphic violence used on targets especially with instruments other than guns. It also feeds a frenzy within the lower levels of gangland especially amongst the “baby bandits” that is expressed on the public especially the aged. The operational rules of the pipeline result in the exclusion of non-members of the pipeline from access to the products of the pipeline. Retail markets not under the control of the pipeline are then starved of product and the war for supply commences which only ends when the pipeline supplies product or an alternate supply is found. This is clearly seen in the retail ganja markets of the Caribbean as product shortages on the supply side have fed ganja wars for supply and the move to grow product locally to supply local demand. As ganja producers stress on quality for export rather than lower quality with its lower prices for local consumption the low end market is now in the grip of a supply side deficit which breeds wars of supply on the ground. The war on the ground impacts the murder rate it does not drive it. To prosecute a war on the round requires sustainable resources which demands a sustainable supply of illicit products to maintain the earning power of the organised crime groups at war. The prime weapon is then to contract or end the supply side of the group you are at war with. With this accomplished the enemy simply shrinks, shrivels up and surrenders. The MTTOs are adept at squeezing supply and this is bolstered by giving up their targets to state law enforcement agencies.

The discourse of the new and alternate social order spawned by the illicit trades is illustrated in the spaces liberated from the hegemony of the state where all conflict is mediated through violence and the rule of the violent not law is the primary driver of the murder rate in trafficking transition zones as the Caribbean island chain. This challenge to the hegemony of the state and its hegemonic discourse is what is being expressed in StV&G today. The geographic areas of operation of the 5 organised crime groups of StV&G named by the Prime Minister are the prime contested spaces. Whilst the violence flows the changes to the nature of the social order are being affected which then expands the expanse of violence as a daily instrument of human survival and interaction. Eventually the change generates a sustainable momentum of its own in the absence of state intervention at the strategic juncture.

St V&G is in the grips of an evolutionary phase of its underworld and gangland never experienced before brought about by the impact of the ECTP on St V&G. Its underworld and gangland is in the grips of the great leap forward which will drastically change the nature and structure of the social order of St V&G. The issue is not only to identify the 5 organised crime groups but to place them in the dynamics of the ECTP and the consequent impact on the social order of St V&G and the rest of the Caribbean island chain.

January 3, 2018 The murder count for 2017 reported is 41. The impact of the drug markets of Martinique especially and Guadeloupe are impacting the drug market of St Vincent through the importation of hashish especially Moroccan hashish from France. Hashish on the drug market of Martinique especially is now flowing into Caribbean ganja markets which has spawned a feeding frenzy with the result being violence in an attempt to secure a supply of hashish. This is a new variant of the Caribbean ganja wars. In Martinique hashish is exchanged for cocaine where you purchase hashish with kilo bricks such is the extent of the depth of demand. Those in possession of hashish in St Vincent are now targets for attacks as the value of Moroccan hashish makes it a product worth dying for.

The Women and Children of Trinidad and Tobago from the Islamic State are they Prisoners of War, Enemy Combatants or Stateless Detainees under Collective Punishment

Human Rights Watch (HRW) and the Reuters News agency have reported on the manner in which the foreign males, foreign females and their children of the Islamic State who have surrendered to Iraqi forces in Iraq are being handled. The men and boys 12 years old and over are separated from the women and children and there are reports some are executed whilst others detained but there is no trail of evidence to confirm both streams of reports.

An HRW report of July 13, 2017 stated that a special closed camp was established at Bartalla, Iraq to house IS families for “rehabilitation” before reinsertion into society. In this report there was no mention of the women and children of the Islamic State considered foreign in Iraq. At the Bartalla camp the modus operandi was clear as families devoid of men and boys from Mosul and Tal Afar were housed there with those classified as IS families being sent there.

An HRW report dated September 20, 2017 reported on a camp at Hammam al- Alil, Iraq housing over 1,400 foreign women and children of IS who were all subsequently moved on September 17, 2017 to a detention camp at Tal Kayf under the total control of Iraqi military intelligence as there is no presence of a humanitarian organisation at Tal Kayf. The foreign women and children are then at the mercy of Iraqi intelligence as there is no international oversight. HRW on its visit to then Hammam al-Alil camp holding the over 1,400 foreign women and children interviewed on September 10 and 11, 2017 27 women held at the camp. The family groups interviewed contained no men and boys over 12 years old. At the time of the HRW visit the camp was under the management of the Norwegian Refugee Council but on September 12, 2017 the Norwegian Refugee Council stated that it will no longer manage the camp as it’s not a humanitarian facility. The HRW report listed the nationalities of the women at the camp as follows: Afghan, Azerbaijani, Chinese, Chechen, Iranian, Russian, Syrian, Tajik, Trinidadian and Turkish. A Reuters report on the camp also listed: Algerian, French and German nationals. Both the HRW and Reuters report does not provide a listing of the number of women and children as per nationalities listed and HRW only spoke to a sample of 27 women. The report in the Trinidad Guardian of October 12, 2017 “Trinis who fled Isis now in Iraqi detention camps” which reported on the information provided by HRW on the Trinidadian woman interviewed who indicated that she and her sister who is pregnant were in the camp with their children and their mother. Their father was separated from them and carried to parts unknown. This single interview does not and cannot speak to the total number of women, children and men of Trinidad and Tobago of the Islamic State who have surrendered to the Iraqi forces are in detention camps across Iraq or dead. The women interviewed by HRW revealed the number of the sample who didn’t have in their possession the travel document of their country of origin. Then there is the problem of children born in Iraq under the rule of Islamic State seen in the number of three year olds and younger in the camp. What is most indicative is the refusal of the Trinbagonian woman interviewed by HRW to divulge her identity as name, former area of residence in Trinidad, family name in Trinidad and any information on her travel document from T&T. This position worsens the plight of the woman in Iraq as it fails to grapple with the threat posed to those branded with the mark of IS held captive by the Iraqi power structure especially potent being the grave threat posed by those driven by the blood lust generated by revenge and vendetta. The strategy has then to be to give all information necessary to international sources and the Iraqi state and call for repatriation back to T&T. To refuse to do this will result in a steady stream of orphans left at the mercy of the powers that be.

In August 2017 the Russian network RT ran a story on the number of Russian speaking orphans in an orphanage in Baghdad. Subsequently the call went out for members of the family of these orphans to come forward to commence the process of reuniting them with their families. Are there orphans of Trinidad and Tobago origin in need of deliverance and reunification with their families in T&T in Iraq? On September 11, 2017 the RT news agency aired a video report on the foreign women and children held in the said camp in Iraq. The report sought out Russian speaking women only willing to speak on camera with their facial features erased. The women interviewed made the call for them to return home but the reporter also spoke of the intention to place these women on trial in either Iraq or their country of origin. The reporter also spoke of the number of orphans in Iraq who were the children of foreign fighters and their wives.

From what is reported in the HRW and Reuters reports it’s now apparent that Islamic State foreign fighters from T&T were in Iraq and involved in the futile attempt to hold Mosul for IS. Is the same scenario being repeated in Raqqa with a similar outcome of T&T female nationals and their children of IS now in detention? The salient reality now is what is the position of the government of T&T and the Ummah of T&T on these women and children in Iraq? The much vaunted “allies” of T&T in the war on terrorism have indicated their ambivalence at best towards the return of foreign fighters of IS to their country of origin but what of the women and children? Will these women and children become stateless consigned to a netherworld situated in Iraq thereby becoming offloaded on the Iraqi government and open to the acts of revenge and vendetta that have been spawned by the barbaric actions of the Islamic State? Are the women to be tried in Iraq and face punishment in Iraq when found guilty? What then of the children left behind? What will be done about orphans born in the Islamic State to a foreign parent or parents?

One report in the Middle East Eye has indicated that the T&T government has in the past facilitated the return to T&T of women of T&T and their children who embraced then fled from the Islamic State. Also note carefully the estimate given for Islamic State foreign fighters from Trinidad and Tobago which frames the scale of the problem. The aid given to Amina and her sons by the T&T government will this enable the T&T government to locate these women and children in Iraq and Syria, consider their request to return to T&T if they are made, approve or deny and facilitate as they reportedly did before? Or use the escape route of these women and children being stateless?

To the Ummah of T&T especially those who encouraged, aided and abetted the Hijrah what do you intend to do in response to this reality? Remember the Quranic injunction on treatment afforded to orphans and note it’s one instrument of our judgement! For the power of the Islamic State discourse of Hijrah to the Khilafah moved entire families of Muslims in T&T to undertake Hijrah to a failed project from its outset and now it’s the burden of the Ummah of T&T to deal with the blowback such is our destiny and our duty.


Guyana and Brazil joined at the Hips: Pax Mexicana!

Guyana: Illicit Airstrips and Illicit Air Flights

In September 2016 an aircraft was found abandoned near to the village of Yupukari in Region Nine, Upper Takutu-Upper Essequibo, Guyana. The aircraft was under man-made cover in an attempt to hide it and was reported to have been disabled rendering it unable to fly which indicates organisation and strategy. The aircraft was subsequently linked to the illicit drug trade and of Colombian origin. In August 2017 an aircraft was abandoned at an illicit airstrip five miles west of Santa Fe in the Upper Rupununi, Region Nine, Guyana. The aircraft was abandoned on an illicit airstrip discovered two weeks previously by the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) but no illicit goods were reported seized from the aircraft.

Both cases of abandoned aircraft and the illicit airstrips in Region Nine indicate that there is organised crime in the region involved in this illicit airlift as the airstrips are constructed and maintained and the flights into and from Region Nine involve the operation of ground handlers. The operation in Region Nine is not in keeping with the model of illicit drug trafficking in the Caribbean basin to terminal points as in Central America. There is then a specific dynamic that involves Region Nine, Guyana that enmeshes it into a regional pipeline that embraces Roraima state, Brazil and Guyana as a trafficking transition zone to the Eastern Caribbean Trafficking Pipeline (ECTP), Suriname and French Guiana and an export point into a counter flow of the said pipeline. Cocaine entering Roraima state is fed into the Amazon pipeline via the Rio Negro with Guyana now configured as a delivery point for airlifted cocaine in Region Nine which is then trafficked into Roraima state from Guyana then into the Rio Negro pipeline. Region Nine, Guyana borders Roraima state, Brazil with the major border crossing at Lethem, Guyana. Cocaine landed in Region Nine is then moved to the ECTP and to Suriname and French Guiana for the jump to Europe. Region Nine is not the only or the most important trafficking point for the entry of cocaine to Guyana it’s simply part of a complex and strategic flow of product for the trafficking organisations.

With the apparent drop, depart and return methodology utilised on the Region Nine run the flights can accommodate product moved from Guyana after the cargo for Guyana is dropped off and this is ideal for gold, diamonds and other valuable minerals to enter the pipeline leaving Guyana illicitly. The Guyana-Roraima state, Brazil pipeline has also enabled the growth and production of ganja for export in Guyana to the Roraima pipeline. Which has facilitated the emergence of Guyana as an exporter of ganja within the region and the involvement of Guyanese in the trafficking of ganja in the region and external of it. The drop, depart and return methodology enables the movement of coca paste into Guyana where it will be processed into cocaine hydrochloride then exported which is stage three of the evolutionary development of trafficking under the hegemony of the Mexican Transnational Trafficking Organisations (MTTOs) as exhibited in areas where the MTTOs operate as Central and South America and Europe. The drop, depart and return methodology has developed for Guyana primarily because of the inability of the Guyanese state to control access to its air space as it lacks the assets and the military infrastructure on the ground to do so. Geography and the chronic weakness of the Guyanese state are being exploited to the benefit of the MTTOs. Geography and a weak state have now conspired to create a specific trafficking dynamic with its pipelines.

These developments and its impact on the social order are ongoing in Guyana as the Guyanese state cannot defend its territory and integrity from the assault of the MTTOs. Faced with the illicit flights into Guyana the government of the day has admitted publicly that there is little it can do to stop said flights. Guyana and Suriname are the reflections of Hispaniola on the north coast of South America where they are both being exploited by the traffickers to expand the drug market of Brazil and to realise Brazil as the premier drug export point to Europe and Africa from South America. And to turn French Guiana into an export point to France and the EU. Guyana and Brazil have been joined at the hips by the strategy of the MTTOs. Pax Mexicana!

September 30, 2017

The nexus between the state of Roraima, Brazil and Guyana was potently illustrated with what has been placed in the public domain following the murder of the owner of some 19 gold dredges with some 120 Brazilians in his employ operating in Cuyuni, Region 7, Guyana. The murdered Brazilian gold miner Antonio Da Silva has been identified as Siviomar Antonio de Oliviera a fugitive from Brazilian justice. De Oliviera was incarcerated in 2004 for killing his wife, in 2008 he was implicated in the murder of inmates of the Monte Cristo Agricultural Penitentiary where he was incarcerated. In 2011 de Oliviera escaped from the penitentiary and remained a fugitive from justice in the Brazilian state of Roraima. The murder of Da Silva/de Oliviera this week opened the can of worms.

To have killed whilst in prison repeatedly meant that de Oliveira was a member of a prison gang of the Monte Cristo penitentiary which illuminates his ability to escape from the prison, escape the police of Roraima and flee to Guyana. What must now be explained is how a prison gang member on the lam a fugitive ends up with the mining concessions to run 19 dredges with some 120 Brazilians in his employ in Guyana? To purposefully display his face in public as a known wealthy Brazilian gold miner and trader in Guyana yet remain off the radar screen of the police of Roraima state, Brazil? To have some 120 Brazilians in his employ and retain his impunity in Guyana free from the clutches of Brazilian police? Was Da Silva a man of straw the front man in an operation under the control of the overlords of the prison gang he ran with in Monte Cristo? If so clearly the time was ripe for a change in management personnel carried out in keeping with the tradition of the game. At least he kept his head on!


An Islamic State foreign fighter recruit with his family making Hijrah from Trinidad and Tobago OR a Hebrew Israelite travelling with his family to Egypt!

The article titled “ACP transferred: refuses to arrest PC on terror offences” in the Sunday Express of September 10, 2017 must first be questioned on its accuracy. If it’s in fact an accurate report on what transpired, then grave questions arise of the capacity and capability of the premier civilian covert agency to, in a non-politicised manner, deal with threats to national security. If it’s not accurate then there is an agenda of destabilisation in play which the national security apparatus has to defuse. The article alludes to holes in the security apparatus charged with monitoring persons of interest which if they exist sends a potent message to the “partners” of T&T in the fight against terrorism especially those of the north Atlantic that all talk and no action makes jack a liability even a grave risk.

The said individual who was supposedly branded an Islamic State foot soldier supposedly left Trinidad with his wife and children for Egypt and returned to Trinidad from Egypt reportedly without the knowledge of the agency monitoring him. The said individual who identifies himself in the article as a member of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) then attached to the Parliamentary Unit stated in the article that he was investigated in London and cleared of any terrorist activities. Which supports the article’s statement that he and his family were placed on the terrorist watch list by the T&T security apparatus but he and his family were allowed to fly. The member of the TTPS in the article stated that he and his family are members of the Hebrew Israelite denomination and travelled to Egypt for reasons of faith.

Was this member of the TTPC surveilled to determine his allegiance to Islamic State? How was he and his family to enter territory under the control of IS from Egypt? Most pressing of all is he and his family in fact Hebrew Israelites? Because his designation as a potential IS recruit seeking to undertake Hijrah to Islamic State is simply not adding up as it’s contrary to the methodology of IS. Was he and his family adherents to Salafi Jihadi discourse and methodology whilst in T&T? Who was his Salafi Jihadi Sheik in T&T? Did he and his family personally exhibit and espouse instances of the Salafi Jihadi belief system? What is the history of the family as practising Muslims in T&T is the crucial question for Islamic State is not in the business of converting the kaffirun to Islam before or after they are granted entry to the IS. In light of the shrinkage of the IS and the difficulty in entering territory it holds in Syria in August 2017 why fly your entire family to Egypt? To take this risk illustrates that you are committed to the discourse of IS which means that you must have left a trail of this commitment in T&T. But why fly to Egypt with your wife and children then return to T&T if you are so committed to Islamic State? Or is it that you are in no way linked to Islamic State. It’s that simple.

The person of interest stated in the Express article that he and his family are Hebrew Israelites which in no way gives them credibility to enter Islamic State what it gives them is a free pass to lose their heads as Christian spies. In no way can informed and educated surveillance mistake the belief system of the Hebrew Israelites for that of the Islamic State. If this is an instance of the quality of surveillance, then we have a grave problem. The only other outlandish scenario to visualise is an Islamic State sleeper parading as a Hebrew Israelite. But such sleepers are intent on carrying out attacks and most importantly are chosen by the command of Islamic State and the profile of the person of interest in the article simply doesn’t fit the favoured profile of the IS sleeper attacker. Then if you are an IS sleeper why travel to IS with your family after having failed to execute the order given? You have a death wish to die painfully and graphically at the hands of IS. A person intent on an attack in the name of IS but not under the orders of IS, the lone wolf, will not pack up and travel family included. To assess the threat posed by this person of interest is not rocket science but the daily task requirement for the covert intelligence agencies of the T&T national security apparatus. In the threat horizon of T&T there is can be no space afforded screw ups.

If this is the quality of work in a threat horizon as is that of T&T then we’re in for a rough ride as memories of the road to July 27, 1990 and 9/11 flash back. Both roads paved with political impotence that empowered the assaults launched. This position is the result of only factoring into the analysis the words of the person of interest in the Express article all the rest of the article is simply noise interference. The silence is also noise.


The Message in the Opinion Polls for T&T

The Failure of Politicians to Be Relevant to the Reality of Trinidad and Tobago (T&T)

On Thursday 7 September 2017 the Daily Express and the Guardian newspapers of T&T published the first instalment of opinion polls done by Solution by Simulation Ltd (SBS) and HHB and Associates (HHBA) respectively. The SBS poll for the Express utilised a sample size of 450 adults who were chosen via the random digital dialling method, were interviewed via telephone with a +/- 5% margin of error. The HHBA poll utilised a sample size of 301 adults drawn from the HHBA national representative adult panel who were interviewed via telephone with a +/- 5% margin of error. Both polls were designed to poll different sets of political opinion as they had different discourses driving the aims and objectives hence the nature of the questionnaire utilised. They then present different political opinions solicited by a research instrument of the T&T electorate thereby complementing each other. This analysis is based on what was published of the polls in both newspapers.

The Express presentation of the findings of the SBS poll placed greatest emphasis on the approval rating of the Prime Minister. The rating of politicians’ ebb and flow with the political tide but in T&T where the politics of race is hegemonic the race basis of this rating is noteworthy. The SBS poll reports an African approval rating of 62% and a disapproval rating of 30%. With an Indian approval rating of 21% and a disapproval rating of 68 %. At this point in time the message is now clear that the seats of St Joseph and San Fernando West are up for grabs. The SBS poll tracks the public opinion on what SBS defines as “apolitical institutions” defined as: the education system, government, opposition, financial sector, media, health institutions, parliament, public service, judicial system and police. Whether those listed in the SBS poll are in fact viewed as apolitical by the electorate is another matter but in the poll under review the worst performer of the “apolitical” national institutions are the police. Tracked from 2012 to 2017 the confidence level of 14% in 2017 is only eclipsed by the 11% rating of 2013 when combined with a confidence level of 16% for the judicial system it is again apparent that there was a change of government in 2015 but this change failed to translate on the ground to an increase in public confidence in two of the pillars the so-called criminal justice system of T&T. There was political change but no substantive institutional change which is seen in a rise in public confidence in the police and judicial system. If political change cannot result in the rise in public confidence then democracy is in fact dead, at best in chains which means that the basis of politics in T&T is the battle to control the state waged between two political parties which command the support of the two largest black races in T&T nothing else. Politics and democracy in T&T has nothing to do with governance and the quality of life for the people of T&T. Nothing illustrates this reality more potently than the crime reality on a daily basis in T&T. What the SBS poll is relaying to the political talking heads is the reality that in T&T the primary reason why we have a crime problem is because we have grave problems with policing and the judicial structure. Is there the political will to admit this and deal with it? According to the SBS poll No! As 87% of the poll indicated that they were very concerned with crime which translates into the rating for the police and the grim existential daily exercise of coping with this reality. This rating most of all indicates that the actions of the present government since 2015 dealing with crime is simply not resonating on the ground and all the discourses unleashed to mask this reality are in themselves not convincing the masses otherwise. In 2017 the emperor and the emperor in waiting are stark naked in public, the masses are gazing upon their nakedness but the emperor and his retinue are all in denial. The product of this reality is that the murder and mayhem is now our new normal. The state structure is then in collapse. In T&T for some time now the politics of race has evolved into the politics of denial by which its adherents cope with the daily reality that their politicians are simply not up to the task of enabling us to improve our quality of life. The SBS poll indicated that 72% of the poll was very concerned with corruption which illustrates the deepening of the malaise being seen by the masses where the ravages of crime on our daily lives are combined with the ravages of corruption and the third horseman of the apocalypse is the economy with 70% of the poll being very concerned with it. In 2017 the poll is expressing the grave insecurity of those polled where crime, corruption and economic insecurity are now insisting that individual survival strategies be devised and implemented to cope with this risk horizon and event. The level of aggression and the spontaneous resort to violence are indicating the nature of, the reaction to the stressors perceived and the range and choice of action perceived, possible and probable.

The discourse driving the HBBA poll is different to that of the SBS hence the questionnaire of this poll presents to the sample a different discourse with which to react to. This poll speaks to the direction of the government, a list of the most pressing problems to rank in order of severity, the performance of the government on crime and violence and other named social problems as unemployment and the opinion of the sample on their confidence in government to solve problems enumerated. The most pressing problems ranked according to the sample was crime with 66% followed by unemployment with 15% then cost of living with 9%, then government doing nothing 5% and finally corruption and poverty both at 3%. The performance of the government on crime and violence was 1% very good, 24% good, 36% very bad and 39% bad therefore 75% of the sample gave the government a failing grade on crime and violence. The confidence of the sample in the government’s ability to solve crime and violence was as follows: a great deal 4%, some 25%, little 33% and none 39%. The question with this instrument is that it does not say what level is acceptable to the sample namely “some” and “little” without that one is left to guess. What then is apparent from the results of this question is the low level of confidence by the respondents in the ability of the government and the certainty of that in lowering the level of crime in the society. The reality is that contrary to the political discourse of lowering crime is the duty of the police the respondents hold the politicians responsible for crime and its impact on them in both polls. In response to the question on the direction in which things are going in T&T 83% of the sample stated “wrong direction”, 11% stated “didn’t know” and 6% stated “right direction”. The responses then express the conception of collapse when linked to the responses to the question of “what is the most pressing problem the country faces at this time”. The crime reality of T&T and the failure of the present government to deal with it has then derailed T&T. The second most pressing problem is unemployment and the government’s performance on unemployment was as follows: Very good 0%, Good 16%, Bad 39% and Very bad 44% a rating worse than that on crime. Confidence that the government will be able to solve unemployment was rated as follows: Very good 3%, Some 28%, Little 33% and None 39%. A confidence rating very reflective of that of crime. On corruption which only 3% of the sample listed as the most pressing problem the performance of the government on corruption was as follows: Very good: 0%, Good 21%, Bad 41% and Very bad 38% an assessment of performance that is worse than that on crime and violence. The HBBA instrument utilised two questions to gauge the position of the sample on the leadership of the Prime Minister: opinion about PM Keith Rowley as a leader and approval of the job Keith Rowley is doing as Prime Minister. The first question polled as follows: Favourable 35%, Unfavourable 50% and Not sure 16%. The second question polled as follows: Approve 32%, Disapprove 53% and Not sure 15%. The difference between both questions falls within the margin of error illustrating the reality that the sample interpreted the quality of leadership of the PM as being equivalent to their position on the job he was doing as PM. Leadership and job performance are joined at the hips and all the discourse deployed to separate them is not resonating on the ground. The buck stops with the PM. On race and job approval 53% of Afro Trinbagonians approve of the job performance of the PM whilst only 16% of Indo Trinbagonians do so. The racial divide between the two major black races of T&T is then palpable after 55 years of independence.

The approximate 40% of the Africans of both polls who expressed a disapproval or unfavourable assessment of the performance of the PM are faced with the choice of action called for. To vote or not to vote and if yes to voting for which party.

Two polls utilising different instruments have then uncovered very similar positions of two samples of the electorate. The message has been sent to the politicians of T&T via both polls but will they listen and respond? No! The politicians will call out the electorate to stand and deliver and the options for response are defined by the politics of race. The result is the de politicisation of the politics of race where you vote not for the politicians as you expect them to be irrelevant to your life chances, security and personal wellbeing and most of all ungrateful. You vote when you choose to, to deny your enemy race control of the state. When you choose not to vote this choice is most likely part of a worldview that rejects all politics and your interest and participation in it. When you choose to be a motivated follower of a political discourse then you are most likely an activist in the war of the two black races. This is the reality spawned by politicians who do everything in their power to confirm our scepticism of their commitment to what they preach as they are drunk on the impunity the politics of race affords them.

The politics of T&T after 55 years of independence is the politics of an evolved colonial plantation with democracy simply being a slogan. Being a slogan it has no traction on the ground in the daily lives of the people of T&T especially so in the daily lives of those who don’t make up the oligarchy of T&T. But such is the reality of the model of massa’s plantation. A model rooted in bipolar even schizophrenic worldviews where individualism to the detriment of group solidarity is juxtaposed with the imperative to deny your enemy race control of the state. The model is then chronically unstable and this heightens as the hierarchy of inequality of the social order hardens. Crime and racial tensions are symptoms of this evolving inherently flawed social order. The issue then is when would the social order evolve to the extent where a strategy of race war will be formulated and launched as violent crime is rapidly evolving to a new normal as it spirals out of control illustrating and indicating its continued evolution. It’s then only a matter of time when the undeclared race war will evolve into a declared race war. Learn from the methodology of the genocide of Rwanda!

Human Smuggling in the Caribbean under Pax Mexicana!

An Analysis of the Evolution of Human Smuggling in the Caribbean under the Hegemony of the Mexican Transnational Trafficking Organisations (MTTOs)

In 2015 human smuggling in the Caribbean basin changed as Asians, Africans and Middle Easterners entered the Caribbean basin to commence their journey to Mexico in their quest to enter the US illicitly and traditional Caribbean illicit migratory movements changed dramatically in its choice of destinations, strategies employed and organisational sophistication. This was the bounty unleashed by the hegemony of the methodology of the coyote of the transnational human smuggling organisations (THSOs) over human smuggling in the Caribbean basin. Before these dramatic changes that became manifest in 2015 the changes in the strategy of human smuggling in the Caribbean island chain indicated the impact of the new dynamic.

The Caribbean Island chain

Puerto Rico

The most potent indicator is the smuggling of individuals into the Caribbean island chain from various countries external of the Caribbean for eventual illicit entry into Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands then to the mainland USA. This trade is especially noted with the case of Brazilians entering Puerto Rico, acquiring false Puerto Rican or US identification then utilising air travel to enter the US. Haitians, Dominicans, Cubans and other nationalities also utilise this corridor. An illicit infrastructure enables and fosters this smuggling enterprise encompassing traffickers utilising sea vessels moving clients along the Caribbean island chain to the coyotes who animate the structure of moving and housing clients, providing the necessary inputs as false ids, providing the range of necessary services from agents of the state and collecting the funds from the clients. The package of goods and services accessed by the client is directly dependent on the quantum of money paid for the package with the budget customers being the most prone to exploitation in contravention of the contract with the coyote. The flow from Brazil to the Caribbean island chain then Puerto Rico and the mainland US fosters and enables a counter flow from the Caribbean to Brazil. The movement of smuggled humans to Puerto Rico via ocean travel utilises the ocean drug trafficking routes of the Caribbean island chain to Puerto Rico and in this movement of humans the Dominican Republic plays a dominant strategic role as is the case with the smuggling of illicit drugs. Citizens of the Dominican Republic, Haitians and other nationalities make the sea crossing via the Mona Passage from the DR to Puerto Rico. Dominicans and Haitians dominate the flow of migrants to Puerto Rico. The flow of Haitians has increased in volume following the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti, the pause in deportations of Haiti and from the US and the placing of Haitians requesting US asylum in the slow assessment process following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. There are also collection and distribution points along the eastern and north eastern Caribbean island chain as St Lucia, Sint Maarten and Saint Martin, the British Virgin Islands and the US Virgin Islands as there are a multiplicity of routes and methods utilised to place illicit migrants into Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands then the US mainland successfully. The wave of migrants and illicit drugs entering Puerto Rico is impacting the social order and the state at a time of acute financial crisis and a mass exodus of Puerto Ricans to the mainland US. The organised crime groups that manage these illicit enterprises in Puerto Rico will impact the social order much more effectively as a result threatening the viability and sustainability of the licit order. The end of the special status afforded Cuban migrants to the USA, wet foot, dry foot, was ended in January 2017 which means that Cuban migrants to Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands must now comply with the immigration laws that didn’t apply to them since 1966. To enter these territories now without a valid US visa, Cuban migrants will now be illegal migrants/aliens with the only option being to apply for asylum but this process can involve incarceration in a Federal immigration detention centre and possibly deportation to Cuba if the application is rejected at the end of the period of assessment. Or to enter the USA illegally and live under the radar seeking to become invisible from the gaze of the law. A far cry from what obtained under wet foot, dry foot which has impacted the volume of Cuban migrants heading to US territory in the Caribbean since January 2017. The Dominicans and Haitians will continue to make the journey as they seek to enter the US mainland illicitly whilst they settle in Puerto Rico or to make the jump to the US quickly following entry into Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.

The Bahamas

The demand for human smuggling services from the Caribbean island chain to the US is potently illustrated by the re-awakening of The Bahamas island chain as a jump-off point for illicit entry to the US in spite of the US investment in assets and personnel to patrol the ocean separating the US from The Bahamas both singly and jointly with The Bahamas. Persons from Asia, Africa, the Caribbean and Latin America seeking to enter the US illicitly via The Bahamas are arriving in the Bahamas from various jump-off points as Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Jamaica. Some are entering The Bahamas legally then moving to utilise the illicit ocean crossing to the US. Cubans and Haitians dominate the nationalities seeking to make the crossing but Brazilians are also a noted nationality which again contributes to the operation of the counter Caribbean to Brazil pipeline. The intensity of the US security net placed over this crossing raises the probability of failure which increases the risk to the safety of migrants in transit and impacts the cost to traffickers as coyotes must factor this risk to their person and operation in the cost of their services. This route then attracts migrants with special conditions attached to their quest for asylum as Cubans and those desperate enough to enter the US to risk the ocean crossing but unwilling to undertake the long route to the US/Mexican border. The end of wet foot, dry foot in January 2017 has then impacted the volume of Cubans entering The Bahamas to make the jump to Florida, USA. Haitians continue to flow into The Bahamas seeking to fit into the huge Haitian population of The Bahamas whilst seeking out the finances and the means to make the jump to Florida, USA. The largest groups of illegal migrants by nationality are: Haitians, Jamaicans, Dominicans and Brazilians.

The re-awakening of the use of The Bahamas as a human smuggling jump off point to the US was preceded by the re-awakening of The Bahamas as an illicit drug trafficking point to the US as is the case with the rest of the Caribbean island chain the illicit drug trade and human smuggling complement each other.

The case of St Lucia

Cubans can enter St Lucia without a visa but 38 Cubans interdicted by the US Coast Guard in a sea vessel headed to the US Virgin Islands carried a St Lucian tourist visa in their Cuban passports. The party entered St Lucia then boarded a boat in St Lucia to be smuggled into the US Virgin Islands either directly or via another island stopover. The package sold to the Cuban party of migrants included a St Lucian visa indicating the ability of the trafficking organisation to purchase services and impunity from agents of the state in St Lucia. This was not a single visa purchased but 38 placed in Cuban passports which at minimum indicates the handover of Cuban passports to the agent/s of the state in St Lucia. With such transactions one expects that the production of false/fake identification documents with false or stolen identities is also in existence in these Caribbean states. Again the confluence of the illicit drug trade and human smuggling must be noted in this case as St Lucia is a transition point on the Eastern Caribbean Trafficking Pipeline (ECTP) and there is the St Lucia to Guadeloupe spur of this pipeline where the pipeline enters an overseas French territory by extension France and the EU. The end of wet foot, dry foot in January 2017 has also impacted the flow of Cubans to St Lucia seeking to be smuggled to US territory in the Caribbean island chain. Any smuggling of Cubans since then is now a run of the mill operation to penetrate the border of US territories in the Caribbean island chain with illicit migrants.

Trinidad and Tobago (T&T)

T&T has evolved in the second decade of the 21st century into the apex destination country for migrants in the Caribbean island chain with migrants from CARICOM member states especially Jamaica and Guyana being the dominant migrants. Migration to T&T also has a global context with migrants from Asia mainly Chinese, Africa especially West Africans such as Nigerians, the Middle East especially Syria and Latin America especially Venezuelans. The flow of migrants to T&T especially from non-CARICOM sources is driven by transnational organised crime groups and the acquisition of the services of state agents necessary to ensure legal entry and presence in T&T is part of the package offered for sale to migrants. Those unable to afford these services then resort to methods which place them outside of the law where they inhabit the dangerous world of an illicit existence. Transnational organised crime groups active in human smuggling to T&T are also involved in the illicit drug trade, gambling, prostitution and financial crimes. By far the largest non-Caribbean basin and Latin American migrant group is the Chinese from China and this group has had an impact on the landscape of Trinidad and Tobago that no other recently arrived migrant group has had. What is noteworthy is the discourse of deception and victimhood peddled in the media by members of the recently arrived Chinese migrants who choose to speak to the media. Why is there a need to mask the area of origin of these migrants by spinning a web of lies of origin from far flung autonomous zones of China where ethnic minorities as the Miao, the Dung, the Hui, the Tibetan and the Mongol live when it’s obvious to those of us who know better that the majority are from Guangdong, Guanxi and Fujian. Is there then an attempt to mask the operational presence of the Fujian snakeheads in T&T?

Lessons of the human smuggling enterprise

The discourse of the Wall of the US Border Service is simply a discourse with a discordant reality on the ground where holes functionally exist for a variety of reasons the most potent being complicity and political gamesmanship. Both the illicit drug traffickers and the human smugglers expose this reality on a daily basis. One most illustrative instance is the US deportee from the DR who successfully, repeatedly re-entered the US after multiple deportation events from the US.

Events and law in both the sources and destination countries impact each other to establish an environment that creates and facilitates the movement of migrants but this is not the entire reality.

A discourse has to be created and launched that constitutes the perception that the need to migrate, the opportunity to migrate, the country to migrate to and most importantly the logistics to successfully migrate to the destination of choice all exist as a coherent whole. This discourse presents a possible, real outcome for a choice made and a price paid. The masters of creating this discourse are the transnational human smuggling organisations (THSOs) and when unleashed they have the ability to motivate human action that can be reckless and a plausible threat to the life of the person paying and choosing to be an illegal migrant. In spite of this reality the clients willingly pay for the services and surrender their safety and well-being to a criminal organisation over which they have no power. The THSOs then link perception to logistics which insists that the journey is feasible and the end result is attainable therefore the price for the package is acceptable no matter the personal sacrifice to gather the resources to pay. It also justifies the submission to the THSOs as the successful attainment of the prize is uppermost. It is only with the failure of grasping the prize including interdiction by state agencies do you then speak of the horror of the journey and the treatment meted out to you by the personnel of the THSOs. The foundation of the entire process is the strategic input of the THSOs and any failure to engage with these groups is a failure to deal with the entire process of moving people to destinations illicitly.

The best examples of this reality in action in the evolution of human smuggling in the Caribbean is the case of Cuban and Haitian migrants in the second decade of the 21st century.

Haitian Migration

Haitians before the 2010 earthquake pursued a migratory strategy with multiple destination points utilising a mix of licit and illicit means to facilitate migration. There was the mass migration to the Dominican Republic, the movement to the US, Canada and France and the territories of the US and France in the Caribbean island chain and movement to islands of the Caribbean island chain namely the ex-British colonies and the Dutch territories. In the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake a new and unique dimension was added to Haitian migration which was first the route from Haiti to Brazil via various transition countries, then Haitian migration to states other than Brazil many of them were originally transition states as Chile, Argentina, Colombia, Peru and Ecuador, then the movement from Brazil to the US border with Mexico, the movement from Haiti to the US border with Mexico via various transition countries and finally the movement from the US to Canada in pursuit of asylum. From 2010 to 2017 the landscape of Haitian migration from Haiti has organically changed dramatically and this revolutionary change was made possible by the hegemony of THSOs over this migratory movement. It must be noted that every single migrant pipeline established to facilitate the Haitian migration to Latin America mirrored the existing illicit drug trafficking pipelines of the region even in the case of Brazil. Migrants crossed the border into Brazil at existing drug transition points in the states of Amazonas and Acre whilst others entered via cities Belo Horizante and Sao Paulo of the eastern region of Brazil bordering the southern Atlantic Ocean which is a major jump off point for traffickers to Africa and Europe. In the Caribbean basin the THSOs are all part of or affiliates of the MTTOs which accounts for the explosion in the movement of migrants from sources other than Central America into Mexico for transition into the US across the US/Mexico border. The MTTOS by the second decade of the 21st century globalised its coyote services on the Mexico/US border. Without a tradition of Haitian migration to Brazil and the knowledge on the ground of the logistics necessary to access Brazil especially via transition countries as Ecuador and Peru and the cost of undertaking this journey from Haiti and the DR this new pipeline with counter flow appeared literally overnight. It was clearly the product of the discourse of the THSOs that created Brazil as a desirable and attainable target for Haitian migration which created the demand for the services of the said THSOs. The THSOs chose Brazil given dominance of the Brazilian forces in MINUSTAH in Haiti, the possession of the logistics necessary to reach Brazil from Haiti and the DR and Brazilian law that was in support of migration to Brazil. The result of which was the explosion of human smuggling capacity in the transition countries and Brazil which enabled nationalities other than Haitians to be smuggled into countries of the transition zone and Brazil as Dominicans. The Brazilian strategy to grant Haitians humanitarian visas issued in Port-au-Prince enabling licit entry to Brazil did not curb the explosion of human smuggling networks and their coyotes in the pipeline to Brazil. The pipeline evolved from 2010 adding Chile as the second destination for Haitian migrants after Brazil and from 2015 the counter flow of Haitians leaving Brazil for Mexico merged with the transnational flow entering Central and South America destined for the Mexico/US border. This flow through the transition countries to Mexico included Haitians held up in countries as Colombia, Panama and Costa Rica precipitating a migrant crisis driven by attempts to form barricades to prohibit the flow of migrants through the transition countries to Mexico. These flows now merged with the flow out of Central America headed to the Mexico/US border.

The success of the Haitian migrant enterprise of the THSOs is illustrated by the estimates of Haitian migrants present in countries of MERCOSUR as a result of this enterprise. Brazil: 2010-2016: 67,226 Haitian migrants, Chile: 2011-2015: 17,849 Haitian migrants, Venezuela: 2016: 6,509 Haitian migrants, Colombia: 2010-2016: 1,375 Haitian migrants, Argentina: 2011-2015: 1,165 Haitian migrants Bolivia: 2011-2015: 905 Haitian migrants, Ecuador: 2011-2014: 776 Haitian migrants and Peru: 2015: 56 Haitian migrants. The estimates of Haitian migration to MERCOSUR reveal the primacy of Brazil as the destination country with Chile being a distant second which illustrates that the strategy of targeting Brazil yielded a momentum of its own which deepened the flow of migrants through the response of the  Brazilian state to issue humanitarian visas to all Haitian citizens desirous of migrating to Brazil in 2012 and in 2015 to invite Haitian migrants in Brazil who entered Brazil without the humanitarian visa from January 2012 to so apply for them. The number of Haitian migrants presenting themselves as applicants for asylum at Brazilian points of entry before the granting of the humanitarian residency visa in 2015 for those illicit migrants in Brazil forced this response and thereafter the flow of Haitians migrants evolved as the families of those in possession of said visas in Brazil now joined the flow of migrants to Brazil for the purpose of family reunification. Discourse, strategy, organisation, enterprise and logistics indicate the hegemony of the THSOs over this migrant movement. The picture afforded by the estimates of Haitian migrants to countries of MERCOSUR is expanded with the figures reportedly released by the government of Chile which show that in 2016 43,898 Haitians entered Chile and for the period January 1 to July 26, 2017, 44,289 Haitians entered Chile. Chile is both a destination country and a transition country for Haitian migrants and the numbers entering in 2017 for the period has already outstripped the total arrivals for 2016. The economic recession in Brazil and the inability of Haitians to enter the US freely as before in the period post 2010 earthquake to September 2016 in order to apply for asylum within the context of a slow deportation process and a moratorium on the deportation of Haitians from the USA has now turned Chile into the destination of choice in MERCOSUR. The Brazilian ambassador in Port au Prince is reported to have stated that 107,000 Haitian migrants have been regularised in Brazil as a result of Haitian migration to Brazil.

It has been estimated that Haitians in Haiti needed to raise between USD 2,000 to USD 6,000 to finance the journey from Haiti to Brazil. Haitians without the cash resource were then forced to liquidate their assets and/or raise capital through loans from the informal financial sector. This engagement with the informal financial sector was the first step of prospective Haitian migrants into the spaces dominated by the THSOs. Those migrants departing Haiti indebted to these organisations inhabit an entirely different reality from those migrants independent of the informal financial sector. Those indebted migrants are in fact the property of the informal financial sector and the THSOs who both exact harsh and heavy prices for failure. The news report which indicated that the “unreported” remittances to Haiti from Chile in July 2017 amounted to USD 8.7 million an increase of 16% over June 2017 illustrates the flow of money to Haiti from Haitian migrants in Chile part of which flows into the coffers of the THSOs and the informal financial sector. Haitian migration then exacts a financial toll on the people of Haiti a toll made necessary by the chronic underdevelopment of Haiti and the severe inequality that holds the social order to ransom.

The estimate of Haitian migrants in MERCOSUR lists Venezuela as having the third largest Haitian migrant population in spite of the realities of the present Venezuelan economy. This reality fits into the movement of Haitian migrants into the Southern rim of the Caribbean basin to Venezuela, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Suriname and the prized destination of French Guiana. The government of the French overseas territory of French Guiana exerted pressure on Suriname to place the need for an entry visa on Haitians and in French Guiana an entry visa was also imposed. Again the movement of the Haitian migrants in this region mirrors that of the illicit drug trafficking pipelines of this region. In this case various air travel routes were used to enter Suriname where as members of CARICOM Haitians required no entry visa and from Suriname the Haitians crossed into French Guiana. Haitians are also entering Guyana where they are smuggled into Suriname then to French Guiana which is a French overseas territory. There are also reports that Haitians left Haiti entered Guyana a fellow member of CARICOM to then travel to Brazil to join the Brazil to Mexico pipeline utilised by Haitians leaving Brazil for the US via Mexico.

The strategy of moving Haitian migrants to multiple destination points simultaneously is to ensure that the demand for the services of the THSOs is sustainable and maximised. As the Brazilian economy tanked alternatives were found to exploit the desire of Haitian migrants to move to alternate destination points where the opportunities sought exist. This strategy of the THSOs impacts the social order of destination and transition countries through the organised crime spawned to ensure this strategy is realisable. This organised crime enterprise is multi tasked with a range of illicit products trafficked to maximise profits: illicit drugs, illicit small arms, human smuggling, kidnapping, prostitution, gambling, extortion, fake goods, energy, natural resources as gold, diamonds and coltan. Transnational Trafficking Organisations (TTOs) engaged in illicit trafficking in the Caribbean basin and MERCOSUR were then simply expanding their business interests to earn and maximise profits when in 2010 in the aftermath of the Haitian earthquake they applied their multi destination smuggling strategy to Haiti. In this geographic area the Mexican TTOs are hegemonic and the new strategy for the smuggling of Haitians is their creation.

Destination USA

In the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake the USA on July 23, 2011 afforded Haiti Temporary Protected Status (TPS) expiring on January 22, 2018. From July 23, 2011 the imperative was now for Haitian illegal migrants in the US to now apply for TPS. The Obama administration announced immediately following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti the change in the manner in which Haitians without valid US visas would be treated with when they presented themselves for entry to the US at a US port of entry. These Haitians were allowed to enter the US and placed on a slow process of assessment for deportation or asylum which placed them in the US population rather than being incarcerated awaiting the outcome of assessment. This was then the attraction post 2010 earthquake for Haitians to journey to the US and present themselves for assessment. In 2015 a new wave of Haitians impacted this scenario and the strategy that drove it as Haitian migrants began leaving Brazil for the US/Mexico border the majority using the land routes through South and Central America concentrating their efforts to enter the US at the San Ysidro port of entry near to San Diego, California and Tijuana, Mexico. San Ysidro is the world’s busiest border crossing which was commencing in October 2015 and continuing inundated with a tsunami of Haitian migrants. From October 1, 2015 to September 4, 2016 the facility processed in excess of 5,000 Haitian migrants which swamped the facility presently under construction. With an estimate of 40,000 Haitians in transit to the US/Mexico border, the threats posed by this tsunami of migrants admitted under the slow deportation process buttressed by the no deportation position post 2010 earthquake and the geopolitical fallout in the countries of transition especially Panama, Colombia, Costa Rica and Mexico heightened by transition countries closing their borders to Haitians migrants. Thereby creating a diminished flow in the pipeline and a backlog of migrants in transition countries creating pressure within the social order. In September 2016 the Obama administration announced the lifting of the ban on deportations of Haitians and the return of Haitian migrants without a valid US visa to the fast track of assessment and deportation. With the licit door to the US now closed the choices left were to enter the US illicitly, to return to Brazil or now to Chile, to settle in the transition countries, find another destination country as French Guiana or return to Haiti. The entire response to the US action in September 2016 is premised on possession of the monetary resources necessary to pursue any option chosen. This operational reality placed and places Haitian migrants in positions of grave risk of kidnapping, extortion, slave labour, murder, poverty, disease and indigence for those without the necessary monetary resources.

The fact that the THSOs created and offered the services of a counter flow to the US/Mexico border to the Brazil flow enabled, sowed the discourse of the possibility and need to leave Brazil in the grips of an economic recession for the apex promised land of Haitian migrants: the USA and made the flow possible to the Mexico/US border.  The sophisticated nature of the smuggling strategy formulated for the flow of Haitians to the Mexico/US border is illustrated by press reports in 2015 and 2016 of Africans from the Democratic Republic of the Congo utilising the pipeline to enter Mexico then cross into the US. It was subsequently unearthed that the migrants from the DRC were in fact Haitians masking their identity from the governments of the transition countries and especially the government of Mexico. The transport of Haitian migrants to Tijuana, Mexico for the purpose of inundating the busiest border crossing in the world whilst it was under construction potently illustrates the strategy of the MTTOs in action. The border crossings of Texas and Arizona were not targeted for obvious strategic reasons. The threat posed by the strategy of the MTTOs to US border security in a presidential election year demanded political action which came to the detriment of Haitians seeking to exploit the post 2010 earthquake immigration position. But the MTTOs and their coyotes are still in business catering to the demand for illicit entry to the US especially by international clients who in 2015 increased their demand for illicit crossings into the US from Mexico. In 2017 the victims of the illicit enterprise of the THSOs that encompasses the Caribbean basin and transition countries of Central and South America remain trapped in the landscape of their quest for a life they desired and were denied in the land of their birth: Haiti. A news report indicated that about 20, 500 mainly Haitian migrants arrived in the state of Baja California, Mexico concentrated in the cities of Mexicali and Tijuana of this estimated number 16,500 entered the US before the border was closed to them with about 4,000 Haitians stranded in both cities. The Mexican government aided some 800 Haitians to return to Brazil mainly, Costa Rica and Panama and Ecuador whilst the rest were invited by the Mexican government to regularise their status in Mexico or face deportation to Haiti.

Departing the USA for Canada

Whilst stranded in Tijuana and Mexicali migrants were exposed to a new discourse of migration to a new destination country. The discourse called for travel to Canada where at the Canadian port of entry migrants will apply for asylum. Obama in September 2016 ended the moratorium on deportation and placed Haitians again on the fast track assessment path which entailed incarceration during assessment. The Trump administration further tightened the screws by speeding up the deportation process and illegal Haitian migrants in the hands of the US immigration agency formed the expectation that their deportation was assured and TPS will die at its expiry date in 2018 further speeding up and deepening the process of deportation of Haitian illegal migrants from the US. The response of Haitian migrants in the US especially those classified under TPS was to enter Canada illegally and request asylum. What started in July 2017 has now grown into a river with a significant number of the flow of Haitians being below 18 years of age and some being citizens of the USA if they were born in the USA. It is estimated that the flow of illegal Haitian migrants ranges between 200 to 300 per day with 5% to 10% being children presenting themselves to the Canadian state agency as applicants for asylum. The major crossing in Canada is at Saint Bernard de lacolle which is the gateway to Montreal whilst the transition city in the USA is Pittsburgh. It was also reported that Haitians are leaving Haiti to enter Canada and applying for asylum. One such route to Canada is to enter the US travel to Pittsburgh then cross the border at Saint Bernard de lacolle, Canada. Canada does not have a tradition of granting asylum to Haitians to merit this flow into Canada seeking asylum. Those rejected by Canada will be deported to Haiti and those with children born in the USA under Canadian law will be separated from their children who are US citizens. These US citizens will be repatriated to the US beckoning memories of another holocaust. With an estimated 58,000 Haitian migrants in the USA under the TPS designation the reservoir for the flow to Canada in pursuit of asylum is huge. The spawn of the aggressive neoliberal imperialist agenda pursued by Canadian politicians in Haiti especially against the presidency of Jean Bertrand Aristide and thereafter has now come home to roost. The chickens are coming home to roost facilitated and motivated by the Hawks of the THSOs specifically the MTTOs.

Cuban migration to the US

In 2015 a wave of Cuban migrants utilising the land route of Central America to the Mexico/US border then the US was unleashed. This was a wave of migrants confident that their entry into the US was automatic given the legislation in their favour. In fact, believing that this was their entitlement as Cubans fleeing a communist state. The choice of the land route was logical given the volume of migrants heading to the US border and the wet foot, dry foot policy which encouraged and rewarded entry via a land route but punished those with deportation to Cuba if interdicted on the sea on their way to US territory. What distinguished this Cuban wave of 2015 from all others since the revolution is the choice of the central American land route to Mexico, the volume of migrants choosing this route, the financial resources expended by members of this wave of Cuban migrants to Mexico and most importantly is the partnership of members of this wave with the THSOs in the quest for effective and rapid movement to Mexico. In fact, this group of Cuban migrants moving through the Central American land route constituted a feeding frenzy amongst THSOs given the demand for their services and the ability to pay for these services by the Cuban migrants.

In 2014 27,278 Cubans entered the US, in 2015 the number rose to 43,169 Cubans and in 2016 it was 56,406 Cubans which indicates the pressures exerted by this wave of Cuban migration on the land route to the Mexico/US border and the impact on the US ports that they chose to enter the US through. The Cuban route entailed entering Ecuador then moving north through various transition countries as Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Guatemala then Mexico. In the US some 64% of Cuban entrants chose the port of Laredo, Texas for their entry to the US. There were alternate routes as through Belize to Mexico and through Guyana to Brazil then to Colombia for the crossing into Central America. The organisation and strategy of the migratory flows are evident as the Cubans were slotted into the Laredo crossing zone whilst the Haitians, Africans, Chinese, South Asians, North Asians and Middle Easterners were slotted into the crossing zone of Mexicali and Tijuana in Baja California the twin of San Diego, California, USA. During the course of the Cuban migration through Central America the geopolitical realities that favour Cuban migration to the US at that time, the resources the Cuban migrants had access to, to facilitate their journey and the organic relationship with the THSOs were potently indicated. Their favoured migrant status in the US ensured that their journey through the transition countries allied to the US was non-problematic unlike the case of the Haitian migrants. There was no problem for the Cuban migrants to enter and exit Panama, Colombia, Costa Rica and Guatemala for example provided they were in transit to Mexico. When Nicaragua refused to grant entry visas to these Cuban migrants resulting in the migrant flow stagnating in Costa Rica, Panama and Colombia these governments enabled the chartering of airplanes to be filled with Cuban migrants at a cost of over USD 500 per migrant to be flown to Guatemala thereby by passing Nicaragua and recreating the flow to Mexico then to Laredo, Texas, USA. In these state sponsored attempts to ensure the Cubans arrived in Mexico then entered the USA THSOs were active entrepreneurs.

The quantum of the flow of Cuban migrants at the Mexico/US border and the velocity of their flow into the US ensured by the actions of the US allies in the transition countries resulted in the abrogation of the special status afforded Cuban migrants to the US under wet foot, dry foot by President Obama in January 2017 during his final days in office and to-date President Trump is yet to rescind this Presidential order of Obama. Cuban migrants to the US must now enter the US with a valid visa and an illegal entry to the US to enable an application for asylum triggers the assessment process with the possibility of incarceration during assessment and deportation to Cuba at the end of the process. Cubans trapped in Mexico following the Obama presidential order were given the following choices by the government of Mexico: deportation to Cuba or regularisation of their status in Mexico. But the MTTOs offered another choice: illicit entry into the US via the coyote network the business survives and thrives because of politics and political action.

There is an alternate Cuban migration that does not target the US which quickened in 2013 when the government of Cuba relaxed the travel restrictions placed on Cubans. Cubans now fly to countries that don’t require a visa for their entry and enter into the process of migrating to countries for various reasons. Various countries in the Caribbean and Latin America are then then the entry points that become migration points/transition countries. Cubans regularly fly into Guyana given the no visa requirement and the long standing ties between both countries shop and return to Cuba or stay on in Guyana and then move through Latin America or the Caribbean island chain. Cubans enter Guyana seeking employment, to establish enterprises or to take part in illicit activity such as travel document forgery. Entry to Guyana enables entry to Brazil and the CARICOM member states hence the use of the weekly flights from Cuba to Guyana and the no entry visa requirement for Cubans to enter Guyana to facilitate personal agendas. The demand for official documents from state agencies in Guyana from this flow of migrants and others has expanded the expanse of the supply of illicit services from agents of the state.

The end of wet foot, dry foot in January 2017 has changed forever the flow of Cuban migration where now the alternate/secondary minor flow is now the major flow. A flow that is now in need of the services of the THSOs as never before since 1966. Whilst the once much valued flow to the US must now address the US immigration channels Cubans were exempted from previously or pay for the services of the coyotes of the MTTOs to enter the US illegally.

Destination USA: the global migrants

The Cuban and Haitian waves along the land route to the Mexico/US border grabbed the attention of the western media thereby masking the sustainable nature of the enterprise of transporting migrants to Mexico then into the US and Canada illicitly as demand for this service has not waned from continental clients and off continent clients from Asia, Africa and the Middle East. The volume of demand from off continent clients does not outstrip and even match the voluminous flow of the Cuban and Haitian migrant waves of the 21st century but the flow is constant and its illicit as the migrants are intent on entering the USA and Canada illicitly as there is no intention to abide by the immigration laws of both countries which means that the prices charged are much higher. These migrants are then the most vulnerable, the cost of services offered and sold to them are much more expensive compared to the Cubans and Haitians and those among them unable or refusing to pay for the services of the coyotes of the MTTOs and the THSOs are open to violent deprivations such as kidnapping for ransom, slave labour, even murder.

The impetus for the THSOs is then to manage migrant flows to Mexico and in doing so multiple routes to Mexico is the strategy adopted which has now embraced countries of the Caribbean basin which were previously excluded from the logistics of the migrant flow to Mexico then to the USA and Canada. Caribbean deportees and migrants are using this route to re-enter the USA which blends with the flow of global migrants entering the Caribbean island chain for movement to Mexico. Circuitous routes are adopted and the entry point to Mexico can be Belize as Belize is a member of CARICOM therefore movement to Belize via a CARICOM route is feasible. Belize in 2006 and 2010 had two instances of complicity of the state agencies of Belize in the sale of travel documents to Chinese migrants seeking to enter the US and in the 1990s Belize was integrated into the Fujianese snakehead transnational organised crime group that smuggled Chinese into the USA especially New York headed by Sister Ping. The Fujianese snakehead THSO was never dismantled in Belize and remains operational today. The flow of Chinese migrants into the Caribbean basin and to Mexico for illegal entry to the USA and Canada illustrates the continuity of a smuggling pipeline fostered by its ability to adapt to changing operational realities. The Caribbean basin is a transition zone to the route to Mexico as it’s also a transition zone to the USA and Canada. But with the expansion of Chinese interests in the Caribbean basin and Latin America these zones are now destinations for illicit Chinese migrants especially those under the control of the snakeheads. The prime destinations are still the USA and Canada hence the need for use of the Mexico/USA border. But in the Caribbean the flow of Chinese migrants between Guyana and Suriname which masks the flow into Latin America and the Caribbean island chain is illustrative of the pipelines moving Chinese migrants into, through and out of the Caribbean basin where the snakeheads and the MTTOs have formed an alliance where there is the illicit flow from China to the region and the counter illicit flow from the region to China.

The abiding lesson of this illicit enterprise is the cost attached to a hierarchy of service packages offered by the THSOs. The experience of those who purchased the premium package for their journey from their country of origin to their destination is vastly different from those who could only afford the low end package. And the experience of those of very limited means seeking to traverse spaces under the control of the coyotes of the THSOs is in a category by itself. Western media concentrates predominantly on the discourses of those of the latter group and the low end package but the effectiveness of the enterprise of the THSOs is best illustrated by the discourse of those who purchased the premium package but they are the most successful smuggled migrant group and not given to talking to the media. There is then a social order of migrants at the US/Mexico border with those experiencing grave hardship to attain their objective being most visible and vocal as is common to all illicit social orders. But this reality in no way sums up the reality of this illicit social order and the sustainability of its illicit enterprise as demand for an illicit service drives it but those who can afford the premium package, a minority, are its most successful customers in attaining their personal objective. An illicit enterprise that exhibits the characteristics of capitalism in all its glory yet it contravenes law. There is then a vast difference in outcome between the price paid of USD 50,000 and USD 5,000. What then must you expect when you pay USD 800? Or worst yet when you choose to make the journey to Mexico, then from Mexico to the US and within the US independent of the MTTOs who dominate this space? Whitened bones in the desert wilderness!

The North Atlantic Discourse of Human Trafficking

This discourse when applied to the Caribbean basin refuses to deal with the reality of human smuggling only focused on something defined as human trafficking where the person is being trafficked against their will. The overwhelming number of persons smuggled in the Caribbean basin pay for these services and are conscious, willing participants in an illicit enterprise. The most profitable victims trafficked in the Caribbean basin are the children smuggled in the company of adults posing as their parent/s or guardian charged with the task of delivering these children to the organisations that sell them to the paedophiles especially of the tourist resorts. The child slave markets of Haiti and the DR and the children of the sex business of Punta Cana are simply potent indicators of the child sex work business of the Caribbean. These children/victims are never the concern of the discourse of human trafficking much less its primary concern enabling the growth and development of online paedophilia sites using these children for media packages sold at great profit. They are the silent victims of this north Atlantic discourse in the Caribbean basin. Abduction, kidnapping and forced labour as sex work is part of the human smuggling industry in the Caribbean basin but the primary victims are those who willingly entered into a business relationship with the coyotes of the THSOs. The business of human smuggling is the terrain in which these actions take place you therefore deal with the primary activity not its offshoot. The business of human smuggling is all pervasive as persons being smuggled have learnt with the arrival of the discourse of human trafficking in the Caribbean basin you insist that you are a victim of human trafficking whenever interdicted by state agencies. Human trafficking is then the domain of the bottom feeders of the underworld in the Caribbean basin. Having no operational links to the hegemonic THSOs and devoid of the resources to create a smuggling organisation capable of competing with that of the THSOs they choose to use hustles of promises of jobs in other countries with package prices undercutting that of the THSOs and other players. They are looking for especially vulnerable people women for sexual slavery and men for forced labour. The gravest danger they face is the discipline of the THSOs for entering into their space as interlopers. This discourse of the north Atlantic has in fact worked in favour of the THSOs and the suppliers of children for sexual and other purposes and to the detriment of the children of the Caribbean basin.

Transnational Organised Crime Groups (TOCGs) Linkages to the MTTOs

The linkages between TOCGs and the MTTOs is now apparent as there are alliances and affiliations to maximise the profits of illicit trades that these crime groups are involved in. The premier smuggler of Chinese from China the Fujian snakeheads to the rest of the world has now an operational alliance with the MTTOs to move illegal Chinese migrants across the Mexico/US border into the US and this alliance also covers smuggling of migrants to Canada. The migrant flow of China is simply one illicit commodity of a pipeline of valuable inputs from China such as precursors for meth production and there is the flow to China of one of a range of illicit commodities such as the product, nose powder, that is the rage of the elite of China as in Shanghai. The premier human smugglers of West Africa the Nigerian organised crime groups also have an operational alliance as the Ghanaian dominant organised crime groups. This alliance moves migrants into the Caribbean basin and through the Caribbean basin to Mexico for entry to the USA and Canada. The alliance with these West African groups primarily encompasses illicit drug trafficking to the EU which illustrates a deepening of the alliance and affiliation. The movement of citizens of Nepal and Bangladesh in ever increasing numbers to Mexico and to North Africa for entry into the USA, Canada and Europe respectively indicates the links between the drug trafficking organisations of North Africa and the MTTOs who now control the flow of migrants across the Mediterranean to Europe. And the links between those THSOs moving the Asians to the Caribbean basin and North Africa to the MTTOs. The MTTOs through their operational alliances with illicit drug trafficking groups in North Africa, Mediterranean Europe, the Adriatic and the Black Sea have welded this reality to its hegemony over the Caribbean basin and the Mexican pipeline to the US and Canada to create in the 21st century the most expansive and transnational THSO alliance in history. In an era when the talking heads of neoliberal financial capitalism are speaking of de-globalisation whilst the hegemonic players of globalised TOC are welding alliances and affiliations into a profit maximising machine to exploit the weak and inadequate state produced by the political cult of neoliberalism further weakened to inadequacy fostered by the lack of will to engage by the cult of complicity of neoliberal financial capitalism with the TOCGs of the world.