Highlighting the recent resurgence of activity in the ‘Caribbean drug corridor’, it was reported on Tuesday, June 8, that U.S. Coast Guard operatives were successful in seizing 1.4 tonnes of cocaine in an area off the coast of Aruba. The drugs were valued at US$46 million. A number of regional plans have been established to counteract drug traffickers’ influence in the region, including measures outlined in the recently concluded Association of Caribbean Commissioners of Police conference held in St. Thomas, USVI. The Obama administration has pledged an estimated US$45 million toward the much-touted Caribbean Basin Security Initiative in its 2011 Fiscal Year budget. St. Kitts and Nevis is one of the countries included in the Initiative; the others are: Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago. The program’s overall goal is to control ‘spillover” from the established drug trafficking corridors in Mexico and Central America. Time will tell just how effective the above plans are in making it progressively tougher for drugs to be transited through the region, where local law enforcement often lacks the funding to match the astronomical sums commanded By the traffickers. The question that many in the region are asking is how much of an impact that the transit of drugs will continue to have going forward. A June 1 article published in an international news source, GlobalPost.com, quoted Nevis police as asserting that the drug trade accounts for 20 percent of crime on the island. The article also references the increase in shootings in the “normally paradise-like islands” of the Federation. The Caribbean bears the unfortunate burden of being located directly between countries numbering among the world’s biggest producers of drugs and the nations in North America with the globe’s largest consumers. As a result, the traditionally idyllic calm that had characterized most of the islands has been shattered in recent years, to much hang wringing among local residents. A particularly virulent explosion of violence, that graphically showed the power of drugs, recently occurred in Jamaica where the very act of attempting to serve an arrest order for kingpin Christopher “Dudus” Coke led to well over 100 deaths, and generated loads of negative international publicity for the island. To effectively counteract the incursions of drug money, local participation in law enforcement activities is a key component. Obviously, a repeat of a “Dudus” situation in the Federation is to be avoided at all costs. To the extent that drug money can empower those involved in its trade, so the Police Force can also benefit By receiving valuable tips from those ‘in the know’ about such activities taking place locally. It is therefore hoped that more Kittitians and Nevisians will help to curtail the impact of drugs before the trade can instigate violence that spirals out of control, as it did in Jamaica. St. Kitts and Nevis, and the entire Caribbean, is in a tough spot, but all who reside in this beautiful corner of the world can band together to help fight against it.