Many homicides connected to cocaine trade
The prime minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG), Ralph Gonsalves, believes that “a lot” of the homicides on the island are related to the cocaine trade.
The prime minister expressed this while speaking on December 18 on local radio WEFM.
Gonsalves who is also minister of national security stated that in St. Vincent, a small group of people are killing each other.
“It’s a minority, a small group, and it’s intertwined; a lot of it is intertwined with the cocaine trade, and other spin-offs with retaliation, and everything else.”
St. Vincent and a number of other Caribbean islands have long been identified by the US as a key drug transit zone, primarily for the transportation of cocaine from South America to the US and other international markets.
It is thought that 30 to 35 metric tons of cocaine go to the United States every year through the Eastern Caribbean, and that 8 to 9 times that amount go to Europe.
On Saturday, January 22, more than 50 kilograms of cocaine were discovered in a government-run facility in the village of Owia, St. Vincent.
In October of 2022, it was reported that a vessel held in St. Kitts with cocaine and marijuana was en route from St. Vincent on its way to Tortola.
In 2015, police seized over $1 million worth of cocaine during an operation at Wallilabou, on the northwestern coast of the island.
Gonsalves stated on Sunday, December 18, that every tool at our disposal must be used to combat crime.
Ernesto is a senior journalist with the St. Vincent Times. Having worked in the media for 16 years, he focuses on local and international issues. He has written for the New York Times and reported for the BBC during the La Soufriere eruptions of 2021.