Drug Trafficking Expected To Rise In Haiti In Post-Earthquake Chaos


Chaos, a lack of jobs, and thousands of escaped prisoners could cause drug trafficking to rise in Haiti, where cocaine already flows through and into the U.S., reports USA Today. The U.S. Justice Department says Haiti and the Dominican Republic are way stations for drugs coming to the USA from Latin Ameirca. The number of drug planes landing in Haiti has been on the rise in recent years and may get worse now.

Capt. Peter Brown, who commands the U.S. Coast Guard in the Caribbean, said smugglers are back at work after a brief break after the Jan. 12 quake. On Jan. 26, a Coast Guard cutter helping with relief found 360 pounds of cocaine and 46 pounds of marijuana on board a Haitian freighter. The 5,000 convicts who escaped the National Penitentiary in Haiti threaten to boost drug activity. About 1,000 of the escapees are members of gangs with drug ties, said Mark Schneider of the International Crisis Group, a Belgium-based research foundation. “The chaos and desperation that have set in provide an opening that trafficking organizations will undoubtedly seek to exploit,” said Cindy Arnson of the Washington, D.C.-based Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

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