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Jamaica makes major drug producers list

Published:Tuesday | March 2, 2010 | 12:00 AM

JAMAICAN DRUG lords are spreading their wings throughout the Caribbean, the annual International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, released by the United States (US) Department of State yesterday, claimed.

US President Barack Obama listed Jamaica as a "major illicit drug-producing and/or drug-transit" country.

According to the report, Obama and the US Congress were notified about Jamaica's unenviable position on September 15 last year.

Nineteen other countries, including Haiti, The Bahamas, Colombia and Mexico, are included on the list.

"Of these 20 countries, Burma, Bolivia and Venezuela were designated by the president as having 'failed demonstrably' during the previous 12 months to adhere to their obligations under international counter-narcotics agreements," the report said.

Obama noted that "as Mexico and Colombia continue to apply pressure on drug traffickers, the countries of Central America are increasingly targeted for trafficking, which is creating serious challenges for the region".

Integral roles

However, Obama, aside from naming Jamaica as a major illicit drug-producing and/or drug-transit state, did not make any other mention of the country in his declaration. The report, however, noted that Jamaicans have been integral to the drug trade in countries like The Bahamas as well as some Eastern Caribbean nations.

"There are no official estimates of hectares of marijuana under cultivation in The Bahamas. USG (US Government) and host country enforcement agencies believe Jamaican nationals are involved in the cultivation of marijuana on The Bahamas' remote islands and cays," the report said.

In 2008, the United States Department of States provided Jamaica with US$992,000 (J$88,3 million) and US$1.01 million (J$ 89.9 million) in 2009 to fight the narcotics trade in the country.

Major illicit drug-producing and/or drug-transit countries

  • Afghanistan
  • The Bahamas
  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • Burma
  • Colombia
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • Guatemala
  • Haiti
  • India
  • Jamaica
  • Laos
  • Mexico
  • Nigeria
  • Pakistan
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Venezuela