Four Caribbean Community (Caricom) countries have been named by the United States as major illicit drug-producing countries.
In its 2018 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, the State Department noted that the Bahamas, Belize, Haiti and Jamaica were also described as major drug-transit countries.
According to Washington, a major illicit drug-producing country is one in which 1,000 hectares or more of illicit opium poppy is cultivated or harvested during a year; 1,000 hectares or more of illicit coca is cultivated or harvested during a year; or 5,000 hectares or more of illicit cannabis is cultivated or harvested during a year.
The report noted that Jamaica remains the largest Caribbean supplier of marijuana to the United States and the Caribbean islands.
“Although cocaine and synthetic drugs are not produced locally, Jamaica is a transit point for drugs trafficked from South America to North America and other international markets,” the report noted, stating that in 2016, drug production and trafficking were enabled and accompanied by organised crime, domestic and international gang activity, and police and government corruption.
“Illicit drugs are also a means of exchange for illegally trafficked firearms entering the country, exacerbating Jamaica’s security situation,” the report stated.
It said that drugs flow from and through Jamaica by maritime conveyance, air freight, human couriers, and private aircraft.