Monday, May 11, 2009

Jamaica Blues

In Sun, sand and savagery: Whatever happened to Jamaica, paradise island?, Ian Thompson describes how Jamaica has become a haven for crime and drug smuggling.

He covers many well known themes: the role of slums, the hopeless poverty.

Consistent with the Huguenot Corsair theme of this blog, he describes how Jamaica's problems date to the sugar plantation slave society of buccaneer days. The Jamaica that smuggled rum to England and which harbored the Maroons, now smuggles cocaine and harbors gangs.

Thompson, by citing Jamaica's illicit exchange with Haiti of cocaine for guns, draws our attention to the broader exchange of cocaine for drugs that seems to be a theme in the Americas. If US and Mexican authorities should clamp down on the current flow of guns from America across the Mexican border to the Mexican drug cartels, we could well expect the Haitian - Jamaican route to replace it.

His article is gripping. Everyone should read it.

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