HomeNewsBriefTrinidad and Tobago Declares Drug War Emergency
BRIEF

Trinidad and Tobago Declares Drug War Emergency

CARIBBEAN / 23 AUG 2011 BY ELYSSA PACHICO EN

The Caribbean nation of Trinidad and Tobago, less than 10 miles from the coast from Venezuela, declared a temporary “state of emergency” in light of concerns over increased drug-related violence.

The emergency measures, which will impose a curfew in six crime “hotspots” (see map below), will last 15 days, Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar said Sunday. Police will be able to make arrests without charges and hold the detainees for up to 24 hours without bail. Detainees may be held for up to 72 hours if police say they are suspected gang members.·

Trinidad and Tobago has one of the fastest growing murder rates in the Caribbean: homicides rose nearly 400 percent over the past decade. So far this year the island has registered 264 murders; many of them believed to be related to the drug trade. The government moved to declare emergency rule after a spate of murders over the weekend left 11 people dead.·

Most of the trouble spots identified by the government are located on the island’s west coast, the favored landing area for go-fast boats arriving from Venezuela. According to the U.S. State Department, drug shipments from Venezuela and other Caribbean islands usually arrive in Trinidad and Tobago via small cargo fishing boats, known as pirogues. Security forces on the island do a poor job of screening maritime traffic, and as a result large-scale cocaine busts are rare: cocaine interdiction actually dropped 49 percent from 2009, according to U.S. statistics.

Trinidad and Tobago is also located outside the Caribbean’s hurricane belt, meaning during the summer months drug traffickers have an easier time transporting their wares by boat to the island, instead of other transhipment points located further north.


View Trinidad and Tobago in a larger map.

Compartir icon icon icon

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Related Content

HEROIN / 27 SEP 2016

Results of Mexico's antinarcotics strategy in 2016 show that seizures of all types of drugs and of weapons reserved for…

CARIBBEAN / 24 JAN 2018

Jamaica’s latest urban security operation has rounded up nearly 200 suspects in an attempt to “cauterize” rising rates of insecurity,…

CARIBBEAN / 19 JUL 2012

US authorities declared they are expanding the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or "drones," to track drug trafficking in…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

We Have Updated Our Website

4 FEB 2021

Welcome to our new home page. We have revamped the site to create a better display and reader experience.

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Events – Border Crime: The Northern Triangle and Tri-Border Area

ARGENTINA / 25 JAN 2021

Through several rounds of extensive field investigations, our researchers have analyzed and mapped out the main illicit economies and criminal groups present in 39 border departments spread across the six countries of study – the Northern Triangle trio of Guatemala, Honduras, and El…

BRIEF

InSight Crime’s ‘Memo Fantasma’ Investigation Wins Simón Bolívar National Journalism Prize

COLOMBIA / 20 NOV 2020

The staff at InSight Crime was awarded the prestigious Simón Bolívar national journalism prize in Colombia for its two-year investigation into the drug trafficker known as “Memo Fantasma,” which was…

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – From Uncovering Organized Crime to Finding What Works

COLOMBIA / 12 NOV 2020

This project began 10 years ago as an effort to address a problem: the lack of daily coverage, investigative stories and analysis of organized crime in the Americas. …

ANALYSIS

InSight Crime – Ten Years of Investigating Organized Crime in the Americas

FEATURED / 2 NOV 2020

In early 2009, Steven Dudley was in Medellín, Colombia. His assignment: speak to a jailed paramilitary leader in the Itagui prison, just south of the city. Following his interview inside…