News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. April 5, 2019: Five Caribbean countries have again been named as “drug transit” countries by the U.S. government in the latest International Narcotics Control Strategy Report.
The Bahamas – The US government says The Bahamas remains a transit point for illegal drugs bound for the United States and other international markets and its close proximity to the coast of Florida, as well as its location on Caribbean trans-shipment routes, makes it a natural conduit for drug smuggling.
Belize – Belize was also named a transit country by the US for illicit drugs destined for the United States from source countries in South America. The US report says Belize is susceptible to the trans-shipment of illegal drugs due to its position along the Central American isthmus, relatively uninhabited terrain, and the hundreds of cayes (small islands) off its coast.
The Dominican Republic – The US’ latest report says The Dominican Republic remains an important transit country for illicit drugs from South America destined for North America and Europe. The US says the country is the top trans-shipment hub for cocaine passing through the Caribbean, and estimates that approximately six percent of the cocaine bound for North America and Europe transits through the Dominican Republic.
Haiti – The US State Department says Haiti remains a transit point for cocaine originating in South America and marijuana originating in Jamaica as traffickers take advantage of Haiti’s severely under-patrolled maritime borders, particularly on the northern and southern coasts,
Jamaica – The US says Jamaica remains the largest Caribbean supplier of marijuana to the United States and a significant transit point for cocaine trafficked from South America to North America and other international markets. Traffickers, according to the report, also export Jamaican-grown marijuana to other Caribbean countries in return for illicit firearms and other contraband.
The same five nations made the US State Department’s 2017 report last year.
However, only the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean had the distinction of being identified as a “major sources of precursor or essential chemicals used in the production of illicit narcotics.”