The business of drug has boosted the economy of certain coastal towns and localities oh Haiti.
Young and old, fishermen and farmers have neglected their traditional occupations to expect the fall/drop of this new manna from heavens or the ocean.
Baptiste is one these groups of people. Recently he left Marigot his home place in the south east and walked for 4 kilometers to reach Guillomonde in search of the precious powder.
Baptiste 29 motivated his trip for this “research” following the news of a recent load of cocaine dropped in the area.
Baptiste is not left free to act given that he lives with his family.
“ I told to some people that I am here to make a prospective study for the installation of an irrigation project”, he said.
In this community that’s only reachable by sea or by walk, the business of drugs has modified the economic situation. The community is transformed in a genuine construction site, one can observes.
Cement and brick houses of larger dimensions have replaced the fragile shanties constructed with cabbage palm trunks.
Many residents have shifted their rowboats for motorboats. While the fishermen are improving their fishing equipments, the bikes are being replaced by motorcycles.
“ Now, when the fishermen decamp (get to the open sea), they went to look for cocaine”, declares Baptiste’s brother Pierre, a leader of the community of Marigot.
The drug freshly discharged is sold 30,000 Gourdes a pound by the fishermen. The price of a pound reaches 40 or 50,000 a few weeks later.
The unlawful business of drugs has caused suddenly the appearance of many fire arms in this community formerly very quiet.
“All the peasants are hanging around with guns, they do not fish any longer” stated Pierre.
“The residents used to inform the police when they found or suspected people involved in the unlawful dealing of drugs. They would bring the drug to the police station. But when they realized that the police were taking advantage of it, they decided to reach an agreement between themselves”, said a school teacher of Jacmel, the chef-lieu of the south east.
The National Haitian Police force was created in 1995 following the demobilisation of the former army thanks the intervention of multinational troops mostly American who restored President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to power who was deposed by a military coup in 1991.
Since its creation, about 50 police officers have been dismissed in 1998 for illicit business of drugs. None of them has been pursued in justice.
Only in 1998, the National Haitian Police Force has originated some 86 arrests for the illicit business of drug, an increase of 69% compared to 1997, according to a report of the US State Department.
The Columbians dealers particularly use the south coasts like (Aquin and St.Louis) and some areas of the south east (Marigot, Bainet) to drop their loads of drugs.
About 54 metric tones of cocaine have passed/transited through Haiti in 1998, in comparison to 46 tones in 1997, according to a US States Department report dated June 1998.