According to the U.S. Department of State, Jamaica remains the largest Caribbean source country of marijuana and a significant transit point for cocaine trafficked from South America to North America and other international markets.
The report noted that traffickers export Jamaican-grown marijuana to other Caribbean countries in return for illicit firearms and other contraband.
It also noted that “Jamaica’s geographic position in the western Caribbean and its difficult-to-patrol coastline, high volume of tourist travel, and status as a major containerized cargo transshipment hub contribute to its use for drug trafficking via commercial shipping, small watercraft, air freight, human couriers, and private aircraft.”
Moreover, it stated that the U.S. and Jamaican governments continue to work bilaterally through legal assistance and extradition treaties as well as agreements on maritime law enforcement cooperation and sharing forfeited assets.
Additionally, it noted that the United States and Jamaica have made great progress in 2018 toward an agreement to formalize information sharing between customs agencies.
However, the report noted that Jamaica’s drug control efforts face significant challenges from corruption, organized crime, gang activity, resource constraints, and an inefficient criminal justice system.
The report concluded that progress against drug trafficking will significantly depend on efforts to combat corruption and the strengthening of the judicial system so traffickers are held criminally accountable.
It also called for new legislation to create an independent anticorruption investigation agency with U.S.-supported programs to weed out corrupt officials.
Marcia Wright, Readers Bureau, Fellow
Edited by Jesus Chan
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